Fiction Reviews


(1997) James Lovegrove, Phoenix, 6.99, lgpbk, 329pp, ISBN 0-75380-228-7

Days is a department store, seven stories high, two and a half kilometres on a side, that can supply anything. So long as you can afford it. Only cardholders can shop there and to have one is a status symbol. The hero is a 'ghost', something like a store detective, who is contemplating quitting after 33 years spent walking the floors of Days.

This is supposedly a black comedy, but Lovegrove's comments on our consumer society all seem rather old hat. The book is well-written and carries you along, but is full of long reflective passages that seem just like the bitching you'd get at a bus stop after leaving any department store. It's a shame really, as Lovegrove seems to shy away from the Dada-istic absurdity that lurks just within reach, and which would probably have made this a better novel. In the end it seems uncommitted and a bit lacklustre.

Tony Chester

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