Lulled by a series of swift and sure dissolves, in an apparently orthodox romance of Irish immigrant life in post-war London, we are seduced by an immersive poetic, when John Healy conjures his magical transformation around the sensory overload of a women’s laundry. The skies darken. An urgent, brutal and ultimately tragic resolution is waiting in the railside scrapyard of The Metal Mountain. This glittering alp of damage, an unsorted mound heaped from the discarded toys of capitalism, is as potent a symbol for our contemporary confusions as the dust heaps of Dickens. Nature is avenged and Healy has given us a brave sequel, as genuine fiction now, to The Grass Arena. — Iain Sinclair.
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