Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fever of Animals

Miles Allinson raises some interesting ideas in his novel, Fever of Animals. I particularly liked the theme of art and the artist and for me the strongest scene was when the young artist realises his own art is just not good enough and he will never make the grade. The low point of the story was the repeated denigration of landscape art, as though it is a lesser form. But I guess this was also a comment on the egotistical nature of some artists. He shows how pretentious and insecure creatives can be.
The story held my interest most of the time, but I did start to drift away from the middle chapter and his travels in search of Emil Bafdescu. This is where I felt the writer was trying too hard to create "meaning" rather than letting the prose work alone. It just felt too forced.
There is the potential for two separate novels, the Bafdescu/Romania story and the other, first love/artist's struggle etc, though the character of Alice was very unappealing. As is, combining the two didn't work for me.
Miles Allinson clearly has talent as a writer and hopefully will reach full potential if he refrains from trying to inject literary significance, but instead lets it develop naturally. 

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