scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 803
Pier pressure Spanish City Sarah May 289pp Chatto Windus For a work that stops short of its 300th page Sarah Mays second novel takes in a variety of fictional forms On the one hand it offers a detailed but consistently oblique portrait of a certain kind of pre- and post-war provincial life On the other it supplies a series of intense but no less oblique love stories stretching out across time and continents Then there is its habit of lapsing almost on the instant into a symbolist extravaganza of the most elemental kind literally so in the case of the storm that blows up halfway through Immensely subtle adjustments of the emotional thermostat yield to the most flagrant prompt-carding while a devious but all-enveloping plot winds on so unobtrusively that it could almost be happening off-scene in some queer environment beyond the printed page As if to emphasise this permanent air of dislocation Spanish City opens in 1926 far away from its chief locale in a boat on the great salt lake of Utah A roller-coaster designer named Delaval floats on the brine with his childs teenage nursemaid The pleasure palace of the title whose construction Delaval is supervising looms up alongside Amid a great deal of fragmentary conversation a single prophetic remark stands out The sounds we make when we lose consciousness whether through pleasure or pain are all the same he informs 16-year-old Charlie as she slaps at the brine flies and stares miserably Its too big at the lofty ridges of the Oquirrh mountains Moving forwards 60 years or so the novel then settles on its central character Hal Price is in this early foregrounding an elderly teacher living in the imaginary northeastern British coastal resort of Setton Abducted in an odd desultory way by two of his former pupils Price is taken off to a caf on the towns northern edge for a meeting with an unknown fourth
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA