This is How

by M J Hyland

A compelling, sometimes brutal novel in two halves featuring Patrick, a troubled, obsessive misfit whose difficulty in forming relationships leads to a tragic outcome. A bleak book in some ways, mitigated by flashes of tenderness and black humour, it may well leave you torn between sympathy for Patrick's plight and disgust or even horror at some of the scenes portrayed. The ending is ambiguous, I would like to know what happens next!


Before I cross the road, I stop on the kerb. The clouds are low in the sky and there's a wind rushing over the tops of the trees on the esplanade. The only car on the road is travelling slow, but I go on waiting on the kerb. I've got an awful, sad feeling, a feeling as though I might fall. I've an urge to sit. If I stay here, maybe she''ll come after me and we could patch things up. I want this and I don't want this, and there's a feeling in me like I'm sorry for the way I've been to her and there's another feeling that I've no notion what I'll do next. Today, tomorrow or the next day. I don't know where I'll go, or what I want to do, a feeling like there's nothing I've got to look forward to.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-tme by Mark Haddon

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