Friday, September 08, 2006 at 5:34 PM BST
The Perfect Man tallies with my definition of what a novel should be. Murr tells a timeless story, using vivid language and ideas suited to a contemporary novel.
We are treated to the story of Raj - an Indian boy growing up in the heart of rural America. Raj is central but not dominant - more a pivot for everyone else to revolve around.
The cast is made up of believable people. People that cry and sweat and bleed. There are lots of characters - but some are more significant to the tale than others. They connections are natural - the reader gets to know some better than others - just as in real life.
‘She was the kind of person you forgot was in the room. She was like the bad reception of her own life, at the point of breaking up into nothing but static.’
We mostly focus on children. Playing together at being the people they will become. Like young animals they play-fight and play-fuck. And then they grow up, perfectly imperfect individuals.
‘The world swallowed boys and regurgitated men in a painful, heaving articulation of bodies.’
These are normal lives of extra/ordinary people. Their stories are told with stunning beauty through the kind of striking thoughts that real people have when they take the time to truly look at themselves and those they care about.
‘Sometimes it seemed to Annie that her mom only smoked to help her remember to breathe.’
Murrs novel is my favourite so far and I will be sorely disappointed if it doesn’t make it onto the shortlist.