IF NOBODY SPEAKS OF REMARKABLE THINGS

Jon McGregor, Author . Mariner $13 (275p) ISBN 978-0-618-34458-1

McGregor's poignant, Booker-nominated debut examines in loving detail a day in the lives of the inhabitants of a single British block. It is a day like any other—a woman prepares breakfast for her family, boys play cricket, a man washes his car—until a terrible accident occurs, which is witnessed by all the neighbors but concealed from readers until the novel's end. Drifting from apartment to house to yard, McGregor reveals the stories found in each: there is the couple who fight bitterly and have brilliant sex; the man with hands scarred from trying, unsuccessfully, to save his wife from a fire; the aging veteran keeping from his wife the truth of his imminent demise. Weaving through these tales of the transcendental ordinary is the first-person narrative of a girl coming to terms with her unexpected pregnancy after a one-night stand. Her lover's twin brother arrives to drive her to her parents, but doesn't tell her the truth about his brother's absence; the girl's mother has her own secrets. McGregor's rapt attention to the exquisiteness of daily life sometimes makes his details ring falsely portentous, and his unwavering focus on minutiae—rain, traffic lights—can be wearying. But as the man with the scarred hands remarks, "there are many things you could miss if you are not paying careful attention. There are remarkable things all the time." This is the guiding principle of McGregor's novel, one that requires patience but yields ample rewards. (Nov. 4)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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FORMATS
Paperback - 275 pages - 978-0-7475-6157-6
Hardcover - 275 pages - 978-0-7475-5833-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1730-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-84197-932-8
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-547-52664-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-97765-4
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