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Warner, Alan

morvern callar

(British, 1964– )

Born and raised in the Scottish Highlands, Warner now lives in Ireland. His first four novels are bizarre and strongly flavoured, set in a surreal Scotland where portentously named characters (the Devil's Advocate, the Knifegrinder) follow illogical plot-lines with fatalistic conviction. His language is colloquial Scots peppered with poetic inversions, invented words, and learned references. Reviewers have described his work as hallucinatory; it is also disturbing, funny, and maddening. Morvern Callar (1995) is the heroine's name; she's a supermarket employee who finds her boyfriend has killed himself, and her reaction is not as you'd expect. In places this feels rather too obviously a woman written by a man. These Demented Lands (1997) sees Morvern Callar crossing an island peopled by obsessives, to wreak revenge at the Drome Hotel. The Man who Walks (2002) follows Nephew's pursuit of the madman/savant of the title, who has stolen thousands of pounds from a pub's World Cup kitty.

Irvine Welsh, Iain Banks, Jasper Fforde  JR

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