You Should Come With Me Now by M John Harrison review – stories ​for the uncommon reader​

One of these brilliantly told stories, “The Walls”, begins: “A man, let’s call him D, is seen his way out through the wall of his . To help in project, D has only the thinnest and least reliable tools: two dessert spoons (one stainless steel, one electro-plated nickel silver); half of a pair of curved nail scissors; some domestic knives lacking handles; and so on. The wall, constructed from grey, squarish blocks a foot on a side has been carelessly mortared and laid without much attention to detail. But this lack of artifice makes no difference; none of the knives is long enough to reach the last half inch of mortar at the back of each block, and the more D uses them the shorter they get. Each block must, eventually, be loosened and removed by hand, a task which can take months, and which leaves him exhausted.” A close attention to detail characterises this story and contributes much to its effectiveness, and yet, like the careless mortaring of the blocks, it makes no difference in the end. Why and how does D two dessert spoons? What does he live on […]

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