Alan Warner - The Stars in the Bright Sky (4 stars)

Alan Warner - The Stars in the Bright Sky

(Jonathan Cape)

While Alan Warner has described the choice of The Sopranos to be given the sequel treatment as ‘vulgar’, he has penned a follow-up which can best be dubbed ‘tasteful’. While the chattering class of his ‘98 tale of female mayhem have retained the collective ballsiness that ran rampant through their maiden misadventure, Warner’s writing has moved on, developing a precision and elegance that few of his Scottish contemporaries can even think about matching.

The story might be anorexic thin, as his girls (now twentysomethings still searching for life through the bottom of a Guinness) bitch and moan and plot against each other while attempting to go on a late summer holiday in 2001. But happily, this leaves Warner free to wield his substantial descriptive powers and allows him to lend us, for nearly 400 pages, his ear for a tender yet piercing dialogue exchange.


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