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Uninvited

by Richard House

The main character, Ian, seems to be in touch with life, with the hassle and transience of squatting, but events increase his search for contact with others, as well as showing up the underlying isolation of his position.

The strength of the book is its attention to detail, its ordinariness and the sensitivity with which Ian and his relationship with Peter is portrayed. Although there is a lack of engagement and passion verging on the bleak, there is a sense of emptiness just waiting to be filled, a possibility of starting anew.

An undemanding yet moving read.

Extract

He asked if there was any pain in his hand or wrist, and Ian said no, the only injury was where the straps had chafed the skin. There was cream in Peter's satchel. It was just skin cream he said, a salve, it didn't smell of anything. Peter carefully massaged Ian's forearm, his hand reaching easily, fingers to thumb, around Ian's wrist. Ian held his breath and watched Peter's face. Unlike every other person, Peter never asked about his arm, and his expression betrayed no abject curiosity or disgust. Catching their reflection in the mirror, Ian pulled away, aware other men were watching.

Parallels

Before Nightfalls by Reinaldo Arenas
Larry's Party by Carol Shield
 

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