Keep Writing Metaphors

Writing Is For Life, Not Just November
Just keep writing! (2)

I’m back

A few days experiencing the great outdoors out of range of all mobile devices and wi-fi has done me no harm.

The Pigeon Tunnel by John LeCarre

John LeCarre is the pen name of the British spy and novelist David Cornwell, so what he has to say in this collection of biographical pieces is not going to contravene the Official Secrets Act. But don’t be put off. I found it surprisingly frank. If these are the things he can say, what exactly can’t he say?

The author invites you to read between the lines, which must be very difficult for the armies of literal minded readers more used to spoon feeding. A work of non-fiction it is not, which is what you’d expect from a master of fiction. Make of that what you will, but metaphor is not dead in The Pigeon Tunnel. Writers who have a lot to say, but convention stops us saying it, take note. Metaphor is alive and well here. This is the way to do it. A masterclass.

The Pigeon Tunnel is a gentlemanly, self-effacing, blast of regret and remorse, defiant and unflinchingly honest to the very end. It’s an inspiring read that makes you curious about the things you might half suspect, and certain about the things you know. It’s Kryptonite for the writer. In his best passages, LeCarre describes infiltrating a British political party and expresses it through the solemn funeral of Harry (his code name of course). Soon, you realise that this is a warning for British democracy. If it isn’t, it ought to be.

Currently I’m reading and enjoying Dirt Road by James Kelman.

Shameless Plug

Cy Forrest’s The Punished is available here.

Gin, a determined young woman angered by the way she’s been treated, wants to save the world. Jack, a teenage outcast, dreams of a better life. They both demand some kind of change as they start a journey into the rural south of England.

“Cy Forrest has crafted a story filled with intrigue and surprising turns and once the reader is introduced to the characters, there is no way they’d want to miss a moment with them. I was most attracted to Gin, a well-developed character, and readers will be interested to discover her subtle transformation from an effervescent young woman to one more mature and calculating, risking a lot for patriotism. The writing is awesome and the pacing measured. I enjoyed the dialogues, the well-developed setting, and the balanced and deft writing. The Punished is, without doubt, a work of great entertainment, a book with great psychological allure and emotional depth.”

“I came away with a new understanding of the world generally – which is one of the most wonderful things a book can do – namely how real lives get relegated to the past and what is remembered, whilst factual, barely scratches the surface of feeling what it was like to be one of these people in such extreme circumstances … We are fallible, partial and we see the world through our own filters. Added to that, forces are at work to deliberately obfuscate and bury the truth and ultimately, the full picture is forever out of our reach. However, this story allows one person to see a greater whole: the reader, which I think is an immensely powerful possibility.” – Cornerstones


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