peteg's blog - noise - books - 2016 12 16 PeterHoDavies TheUgliestHouseInTheWorld

Peter Ho Davies: The Ugliest House in the World.

/noise/books | Link

Davies's first collection of shorts, from 1998, and therefore only available on paper. All his later concerns are on show here: slate mining, farming and provincialism in Wales (The Ugliest House in the World, A Union), war (Relief, A Union), Chinese clannishness, kookiness and pragmatism (Buoyancy, The Silver Screen), and perhaps most interesting to me, social justice (Coventry, I don't know, what do you think?). The last is a first-person account of manning the phones for Lifeline. (Lifeline seems to be an Australian innovation that went global.) The writing is as solid as ever, and my only beef is that the stories are planned a little too tightly; too many Chekhovian guns, so to speak.