Nothing Is Invisible

……….Cultural Kaleidoscopy………..

Well – by Matthew McIntosh

Posted by the editors on Monday, 5 December 2011

Well (2003)(Novel)  By Matthew McIntosh    Well, McIntosh’s first novel, is a litany of vignettes of desperation, drugs, drink, delusion, disappointment, distress, disease, death and dysfunction.  There is no narrative line, as such, rather, McIntosh assembles, with a pointillist‘s touch, a canvas of dark greys, darker greys and blacks, painting an accumulative picture of the disarray of an assortment of, at best, working class residents of a northwest American strip mall suburban cultural desert.  In fact, Well, shows some promise on the part of McIntosh, though here, the voices of the characters are insufficiently distinguishable, and the repetition becomes tiresome.  The last third of the novel, in fact, is the most successful, where McIntosh ventures a bit further in voice and in narrative development.  Nevertheless, unless one is prepared to endure what one critic has optimistically called grunge meets Beckett, then perhaps it’s best to wait for McIntosh’s next novel, if one is forthcoming. (PR)

Note: The title, Well, refers not to well as in “doing well” but well, as in “at the bottom of a well.”

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