Patrick Gale revels in absurd risks. It’s the promise of an unexpected, and potentially implausible, outcome that entices you into his stories; acts of liberation (usually sexual) continually teeter on the brink of humiliation. The prose sizzles with acidic observation. Playing generations off against each other, Gale squeezes every last drop of bitterness from the desiccated udder
of middle-class domesticity.

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