Sons and Fascination by G S Mattu

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Sons and Fascination by G S Mattu

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: This book concentrates on emotions. Take an impressionable young man, add in a chance (?) encounter with an attractive older woman and then stand well back as the fireworks explode and as family, friends and colleagues get sucked in to their deepening relationship.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 208 Date: February 2011
Publisher: PaperBooks
ISBN: 978-1907756009

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This book concentrates on emotions. Take an impressionable young man, add in a chance (?) encounter with an attractive older woman and then stand well back as the fireworks explode and as family, friends and colleagues get sucked in to their deepening relationship. I must say I'm not keen on the title (a little pretentious for a work of fiction in my opinion and more suited to poetry) and even when it was ever so gently explained later on in the book (twice) I still didn't warm to it. All in all, not off to the greatest of starts.

We meet one of the two main characters, twentysomething Jack as he meets up with his father at a London club for a drink - and a bit of a grilling (and I don't mean the lamb chops). Father is successful in his line of work and Jack seems to be merely drifting through life, without a partner to boot. Time he settled down, raised a family etc. So, from the deep armchairs, lots of sighs from both father and son. I did find some of the dialogue a little stilted and also a little unnecessary. We don't necessarily need all of the background information, selected highlights are often better. And all of this dense information deterred a smooth flow of words and a normal, natural conversation happening which was a pity. It was also rather irritating. But there's more on this negative take. There's also a lot of (superfluous) descriptive text going on. It feels totally out of place and appears to serve the purpose of padding as it doesn't really add to the story. In places, I felt as I was reading a school essay. Less is more would apply here, in my opinion.

The first encounter between Jack and the beautiful Fran is given over to far too many pages. She sat down. Then he sat down. Then they had a drink ... tedious. Here's a snippet They had settled in the table (strange choice of words in themselves) and talked, topics ranging, veering away ... to more neutral ground. Films and music formed the mainstay ...

When the story moves on and we're introduced to Jack's three flatmates, it's all far too descriptive once again, far too much uninteresting information which serves little or no purpose. ... who had eaten whose cheese, who had bought the last toilet roll . and Anne was across town, eating. Who cares? I certainly didn't and was fast going off this book. The style, the tone, well, the everything really, did not work for me at all.

Ever looking for the positive, when I did stumble across a nice, creative sentence or two (and they are in evidence if you look hard enough) it all felt forced, as if the author had used up blood, sweat and tears on those words. And it was usually at the expense of telling a good story. This is not good story-telling.

Lots of heart-to-heart conversations, young angst and ugly situations as Jack and Fran's relationship develops. Jack is dating a woman almost twice his age; she's almost menopausal. He's young, handsome, employed, got a good social life. You have to ask the question, what's in it for him? Do you think this a credible scenario? As the plot develops we see certain characters make certain decisions. But for me, it was all too fanciful and stage-managed. Add to that, some very flowery words and phrases and it all lacked focus and depth.

I was glad when I'd finished the book. Perversely, I'm going to suggest that as a short book, it didn't work. But, had a handful of characters been cut and had there been more space to 'grow' the central characters, it may have been a better read. Not a book I wish to remember on any level.

If this book appeals then try Love in the Present Tense by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Buy Sons and Fascination by G S Mattu at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sons and Fascination by G S Mattu at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Sons and Fascination by G S Mattu at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sons and Fascination by G S Mattu at Amazon.com.

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