A for Angelica-Iain Broome
Gordon watches and keeps track of his neighbors in a series of folders arranged alphabetically. He takes care of his wife who is suffering from a stroke.
I honestly did not realize this would be a such a heavy book and it is-the main story at its centre is tragic in that slow way that disease often is. Gordon is that creepy busybody you suspect is your next door neighbor (or, at least, I know my grandmother definitely is) who watches and remembers most of the details of the neighborhood’s habits. But he has a wife, suffering from strokes, and he is alone with this. The creepy neighborhood watching is really him watching out for people who could help him. There’s a lot of dark satire encouched in this terse and straight to the point prose that makes an otherwise claustrophobic novel into something entertaining. I learned that this is Broome’s debut novel and I must say I never guessed because this is something masterful. The suburb is anywhere UK (but also maybe USA) and the ending is...the one I wanted all along. I mean, Gordon is an obsessive narrator but it’s hard to say that anyone in a similar situation-hiding/denying the ongoing deterioration of a loved one-would be all that different.