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Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers

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Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A compulsive read; fascinating and sometimes horrifying by turns. Benjamin Myers writes with playful joy in oral language and with humour and compassion. The main character is of the traveller culture and, while having been cut off without a full grasp of it, he has been shaped by it and it has given him important strengths, including a strong affinity with the natural world and an enjoyment of the solitary as well as the social. The reader sees things as this taciturn narrator sees them. As he tries to get his life on track he gradually draws the reader into his situation and way of seeing. Through the little he says, his reactions to others and theirs to him, the reader catches hints of what is withheld even from himself and what brought himto this point. And all the while a parallel narrative is interleaved, evidently connected and gradually entwining itself with the main narrative as it runs on.
This is a story about inheritance, …
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Ironopolis
by


A fascinating, compulsive read during which the reader feels sometimes enveloped by the fog of the river from which the visceral embodiment of the spirit of the place emerges. I finished this book wanting to begin again, feeling that though strands were knotted up, there were questions unanswered or half answered and yet that deeper truths had surfaced: what holds people, breaks them, sends them spiralling off—and that is how it should be. In the sifting of documents and oral histories, a history of the generational entanglements of members of a community emerges. This is a community that has been sold down the river, their houses gradually purchased, the people disappearing and not only to known destinations but some leaching away. The main assembler of narratives and narrator, whose identity is revealed towards the end, is searching for his own history only to understand that the process of research rather than its end is an a…