Isolation Read #33

published by XYLEM BOOKS, Corbel Stone Press

Stumbled across this in a dark corner of the internet, never heard of the book, writer or press before. But the sales pitch did it for me. A spur of the moment decision. Not regretted as such, just not all I had hoped for – a book described as “as if Samuel Beckett has written The Goshawk” has a lot to live up to…

Essentially, apparently, the story of a lone soul heading out on to the moors, to hide (to die?) in a shieling. It strives. It is written in short bleak sentences. The imperative, is a remorseless drive to the north, “Always north. Although the why of it is no longer clear.” It uses animal imagery, repeatedly: the hare, the wolf, the raven, without really resolving what they are there for. There are some interesting moments and some moments of darkness, it just didn’t quite hang together for me – which I am sad about.

I’m less sad than puzzled about the layout, which at 160 often sparsely populated pages, feels like an extravagance.


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