The story of five characters and the revelation of the bonds between them gets lost in the endless striving for beauty and significance”If it sounds like writing,” Elmore Leonard says, “I rewrite it.” By that measure Simon Van Booy, who grew up in Wales and Oxford and lives in New York, is the yin to Leonard’s yang. Throughout two short story collections and two novels, Van Booy practises a distinctive style that aspires not just to be read but to be recited. His paragraphs are so short that they leave as much white on the page as you find in poetry. And like many poets, Van Booy is more interested in moments of significance than he is in the everyday. As well as writing fiction, he has edited three books of “practical philosophy” that shape quotations from novels and poems into a stream of resonant statements about love, conflict and decision-making, and these may well be his Platonic ideal of what a book should be. In the novel this hunger for significance can be detrimental.The Illusion of Separateness is built around a handful of moments that shape the lives of its five main characters. The story begins in contemporary LA, …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books