Mischievous

14 02 2015

Their Lips talk of Mischief by Alan Warner

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High up in the Conrad Flats that loom bleakly over Acton, two future stars of the literary scene – or so they assume – are hard at work, tapping out words of wit and brilliance between ill-paid jobs writing captions for the Cat Calendar 1985 and blurbs for trashy novels with titles like Brothel of the Vampire. Just twenty-one but already well entrenched in a life eked out on dole payments, pints and dollops of porridge and pasta, Llewellyn and Cunningham don’t have it too bad: a pub on the corner, a misdirected parental allowance, and the delightful company of Aoife, Llewellyn’s model fiancée, mother of his young baby – and the woman of Cunningham’s increasingly vivid dreams.

It’s a fantastic tale of shambolic and dissolute literary lifestyles in Thatcher’s Britain. There’s more than a touch of Withnail & I about it too. And, although it’s London rather than Warner’s more familiar Oban, the settings are thoroughly convincing. A really terrific piece of writing.

stars-4-0._V5268001_

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