Ellis Sharp: Month of the Drowned Dog

The latest addition to my website is Ellis Sharp‘s Month of the Drowned Dog. This is a decidedly postmodern novel, as we might expect from Sharp. Sharp, the author, tells of a character known only as the writer who had written a book which he had abandoned and is now returning to. We get (more or less) the plot of his book but also numerous interjections from the writer about the book. He deletes passages in mid-sentence, comments on his own writing (he is not impressed), tells us of his life his reading, his musical and poetry tastes and so on. The plot tells of a publicist for a publisher (lots opportunities for mocking other, non-postmodernist authors) called Jane Tain. whose widower geologist father has been found dead in a Scottish cemetery. It looks as if he simply died of exposure after drinking too much. However she has a clue it may be suicide. She follows his trail from his home in Hampshire to Scotland and digs a bit into his papers to find what really happened. Inevitably there are a couple of twists. I thought it quite a good tale. The writer did not but the extensive authorial interventions certainly made it …interesting.

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