Friday, 26 May 2017

The Power to Shock

In later Brookner - and Altered States is past the mid-point - the screw turns, iron enters the soul. There are moments in many of these works that truly bring the reader up short. Or this reader, at least. Or they do now: I find myself more shocked now, on re-reading - possibly because I'm older. The end of chapter 11, for example. I read it aghast. My heart is in my mouth. One's heart is often in one's mouth when one reads later Brookner, such is the atmosphere of dread. But here the fear is realised, and in unsparing fashion.

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