In this grim, slow-moving first novel, set in a seedy British resort town, the residents of a guest house eke out a living entertaining the winter population at the town's only theater. The boarders regard each other with mutual animosity, their lives at the guest house only a shade more tolerable than their jobs as performers. Derek and Veronica are second-rate magicians, constantly bickering. Mighty Morgan is a lecherous dwarf who supplements his income with a detested job at a supermarket. Rita is a former stripper steadily going downhill. These embittered show people are regarded with contempt by stage manager Malcolm Devlin, who, as we discover halfway through the book, has murdered both a 14-year-old schoolgirl and his own mother. The murders, however, serve merely as a prism through which the author highlights the benighted town and all its churlish residents, including apathetic policemen and the unhappy entertainers. The end result is a relentlessly oppressive novel with a totally bleak view of life. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985 Release date: 01/01/1985 Genre:
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