Book Reviews

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), April 25, 2003 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews


Reviews of the latest fiction and non-fiction releases.

The London Pigeon Wars By Patrick Neate. Published in hardback by Penguin, price pounds 12.99.

Patrick Neate follows up his Whitbread Award-winning Twelve-Bar Blues with this superbly multilayered book which intercuts two improbably converging stories. One centres on a group of friends in their late 20s, trying to come to terms with disappointment at the way their dreams have betrayed them. The other follows the events of the eponymous pigeon wars from the viewpoint of Ravenscourt, a suburban pigeon combatant with a taste for philosophy.

The disaffected cynicism of the human protagonists is interrupted by the sudden arrival of a long-lost friend from student days, the enigmatic Murray. His reappearance fills them with the hope that they might once again find joy in living in the present. But when a drunkenly hatched idea to rob a bank evolves into concrete plans, the excitement is more than they had bargained for.

Meanwhile, in the pigeon story, Ravenscourt describes how his species discovers consciousness and subsequently splits into warring factions.

Neate expertly weaves the stories together, with events in each parallel world affecting the other.

Reviwe by Steve Ball

100: The Work That Changed British Art By The Saatchi Gallery, introduction by Charles Saatchi. Hardback by Jonathan Cape, pounds 20.

Former ad man and celebrated art collector Charles Saatchi is back in the spotlight with a new central London home for his vast collection of new British art. …

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