“spill simmer falter wither” by Sara Baume

This exquisite book has emerged as one of the big hits of 2015, and it’s not difficult to see why. But it is difficult to explain, it’s such a mercurial gem.

It’s been described as a “road-trip” book, and that’s true. The protagonist takes off with his dog after the dog bites a child and he panics. (The dog’s owner, that is – the dog’s quite sanguine about the event.)  But this is only a taster. It is so generous in its giving, even in how it reveals the protagonist’s name, that to isolate anything in particular is to spoil it or maybe just to misrepresent it.

For a debut author to wring the entire gamut of the reader’s emotional responses – I both howled in mirth and shed bitter tears – in a short book which is essentially about One Man And His Dog, is a wondrous thing. Sara Baume can play with language beautifully, but so can lots of writers. It is her depiction of intense love which drew me in, the taste of it and the smell and the colour of it. And of how she contrasts that intensity of love with the intensity of wretched loneliness.  It’s a passionate and elegant book, richly deserving of its many accolades.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s