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Carson, Michael


(British, 1946– )

Michael Carson's first impact on the reading public was his funny and touching account of the growing pains of Benson, a working-class ugly duckling, trying to reconcile his Catholic upbringing with his homosexuality—Sucking Sherbet Lemons (1988). Yanking up the Yo-yo (1992), the final part of the Benson trilogy, takes our hero to the United States as a counsellor on a children's summer camp—enjoyable for its large doses of 1960s' nostalgia. Carson uses his novels to take a swipe at institutions—church, empire, and, most recently, publishing in Dying in Style (1998), where the satire is packaged as a traditional whodunit. Carson has never lived up to the originality of his first novel but fans will still recognize his trademark of a sympathetic, gay central character in a lightly attacking farce.

Evelyn Waugh, Jonathan Coe  RV

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