Adam Mars-Jones
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ISBN 9780571245369 Format Hardback
Published 20/01/2011 Length 752 pages

About Book

Cedilla continues the history of John Cromer begun by Pilcrow, described by the London Review of Books as "peculiar, original, utterly idiosyncratic" and by the Sunday Times as "truly exhilarating". These huge and sparkling books are particularly surprising coming from a writer of previously (let's be tactful) modest productivity, who had seemed stubbornly attached to small forms. Now the alleged miniaturist has rumbled into the literary traffic in his monster truck, and seems determined to overtake Proust's cork-lined limousine while it's stopped at the lights.

John Cromer is the weakest hero in literature -- unless he's one of the strongest. In Cedilla he launches himself into the wider world of mainstream education, and comes upon deeper joys, subtler setbacks. The tone and texture of the two books is similar, but their emotional worlds are very different. The slow unfolding of themes is perhaps closer to Indian classical music than the Western tradition -- raga/saga, anyone?

This isn't an epic novel as such things are normally understood, to be sure. It contains no physical battles and the bare minimum of travel, yet surely it qualifies. None of the reviews of Pilcrow explicitly compared it to a coral reef made of a billion tiny Crunchie bars, but that was the drift of opinion. Page by page, Cedilla too provides unfailing pleasure. It's the book you can read between meals without ruining your appetite.

  • About Adam Mars-Jones

    Adam Mars-Jones's first book of stories, Lantern Lecture, was published in 1981 and won a Somerset Maugham Award. In 1983 and again in 1993 he was named one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, despite not having produced a novel at the time. His Zen status as an acclaimed novelist without a novel was dented by the appearance of The Waters of Thirst, and can only suffer further with the appearance of Pilcrow, described by Margaret Drabble as 'one of the most remarkable novels I have read in recent years.'

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