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by Sam Thompson

4*

A highly, almost painfully literary series of stories; some I enjoyed very much, some not so much, some not at all. All are written in an absorbing, poetic style, with a literary brilliance that blankets rather than shines. Communion Town abounds with strange and original metaphor; it feels experimental, and a little too self-consciously clever.

What is it about? Is it about anything, really? I thought I was catching clues, like the clever use of grammar: `Time is strange in certain rooms.’ Then, `Time is strange. In certain rooms…’ But if these were pointers to an overall theme, I missed it.

I wish it had been better constructed, if the stories had been linked by even tenuous threads – just one character running through would have rounded it out and given more weight, more meat.

The writing is gorgeous but it’s a little like tinsel without the tree; it needs more flesh on its bones, but it’s still worth 4 stars.

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