If you can imagine a cross of Barchester Towers and Rosemary’s Baby as written by Muriel Spark, you may have some idea of what you’ll be facing with Facing the Tank. There are plenty of good, careful English novelists whose grasp exceeds their reach. Gale is by contrast a very imaginative bull amidst the Wedgwood, and like whatever creature is disrupting Barrowcester, he’s determined – and deserving – to be noticed.

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