John Aberdein - Strip the Willow (4 stars)

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John Aberdein - Strip the Willow

The unnervingly familiar Scottish city of Uberdeen faces financial collapse, so multinational powerhouse LeopCorp swoops in to take control. Thus the scene is set for John Aberdein’s astonishing follow-up to award-winning debut Amande’s Bed.

Often praised for his expert use of language, the writer does not disappoint with this long-awaited second offering – the poetic ebb and flow of the narrative and pithy wordplay resulting in a novel that is as experimental and contemporary as it is compelling.

But it is not just stylistically that Aberdein triumphs here. Strip the Willow introduces us to a wealth of fascinating and feisty characters, this insightful commentary on modern society and darkly comic tale of long-lost love and strength of human spirit twisting and turning relentlessly, keeping us hooked from start to finish. You’ll be hard pushed to find a more cleverly constructed read this year. Quite superb.

(Polygon)

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