Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
I’ve just posted a review of Mike Robbins’ collection of novellas called Three Seasons.
Born the same year I was, but with an experience resumé out of a John LeCarré novel, Robbins looks at three sets of characters in England in the 1980s. I spent some time in England back in that era, so the mood of Thatcherite laissez-faire is familiar, but as I say in my review, there’s a timelessness about these stories because they’re so founded on character. Human behavior and emotion is consistent through the decades, so you’ll find these pieces as relevant as anything set in today’s world.
Here’s a wee excerpt from my review:
… One of the genuine pleasures of this book is the detailed look we get at such disparate things as what it’s like to be out on the North Sea in a fishing trawler (with a self-medicating, jaded captain at the helm) or to pilot a glider plane with an intractable student who could plow the thing into the ground if you don’t snatch control from him in time. We also get glimpses of aid-worker life in Africa, English public school in the 1930s, and the hidden protections afforded undeserving cads by their secret-society brethren.
And as others have said, any of these tales could have received the full-novel treatment—particularly “Autumn,” the third story, because of the sheer volume of material that one offers for exploration. It would read like a new book from E. M. Forster.
Three Seasons seems like a great introduction to Robbins’ work, and it’s made me want to dig into some more.