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Monday 4 June 2018

Review: Paula Cocozza, How To Be Human

On balance, No. Early on I was impressed by Cocozza’s ability to create suspense out of stock-in-trades of the thriller genre – simple things like noises off and doors opening. Then as the story developed I found it hard to keep going. She has a small cast of characters (Mary, Mark, Eric, Michelle) who in one way or another have lost the plot of their lives and who are filled out with detail which does its job of indicating how and what they have lost. Notably, Michelle is very well sketched for post-natal depression.  

But I got bored with the protracted folie à deux between Mary and her real/imaginary urban Fox. Mary behaves towards her Fox as many people do towards their dogs, and once I had that thought Mary ceased to be a hero of urban eco-mysticism and became just another sad dog-dependent loser and I can’t be doing with three hundred pages of that.

But as the numerous publicity puffs indicate, there are more ways than one of reading this book and I just happen to have stumbled into one which closed it down for me rather than opening it up.

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