Tuesday 31 January 2017

The Babysitter at Rest by Jen George
The self-obsession bordering on narcissism which passes for purpose among thirty-something arty types who have not yet succumbed to despair or parenthood or both is here forensically explored in five longish stories with protagonists for whom the aspirations towards “self-fulfillment” (admit you also have these tendencies) are proving insufficiently resilient to masquerade as anything other than the self-indulgence tempered only by ennui that they always were (admit you also suffer from this). Maturing may be a liminal process but every doorstep is also a place to trip, and George's stories, although they suffer on occasion from the self-indulgence one would expect from their subject matter, exhibit the sort of stunned lyricism that results when your head hits the floor in mid-sentence (test this yourself). “Your life may fall apart may fall apart around you while you're putting on the act of radiating positivity, but you will not realise it for some time,” says The Guide in the story 'Guidance/The Party'.

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