Central Reservation reviewed by Times Literary Supplement

Well, now. Here’s the thing. Generally, in a post such as this, I would launch into some obscure and self-deprecatory flannel, which would lead, for those with the patience to navigate it, to the sheepish announcement of a fact subtly suggested by the title of this post: Central Reservation has just been reviewed in the TLS, which described it as an ‘ambitious and inventive’ and ‘subtle’ book in which ‘black comedy undercuts painful emotion’.

The reason for the sheepishness is that I am a firm believer in reserve and reticence, which are good and necessary things that inoculate right-thinking people from various forms of insanity, such as going on The Apprentice or entering politics.

However, I am aware that the line between these splendid virtues on the one hand and the horrors of timidity and false modesty on the other is faint and indistinct.

Basically, the question that arises is this: which is worse, to blow one’s own trumpet, or hide lights under bushels? Both sayings, in truth, strike me as problematic. If you aren’t supposed to blow your own trumpet, this implies that you are supposed to blow other people’s trumpets, and we have immediately lurched into the territory of queasy double-entendre. On the other hand I have no idea what a bushel is, and am determined not to google it to find out. Some forms of ignorance are worth preserving, and not knowing about medieval measuring baskets is one of them.

Anyway: in the event the decision came down on the side of candour and openness (or unashamed self-promotion if you will). So: no flannel! Apart from the previous three paragraphs of flannel. Instead: Central Reservation was in the Times Literary Supplement! Hurrah!

And finally: reviews such as this are of course one of the main ways to spread the word about the book. Since I am on the self-promotion wagon, this might therefore be a good moment for a Jeeves-esque cough followed by the tentative suggestion that should you have read and enjoyed the book yourself, and have the chance to add the briefest of Amazon or Goodreads reviews, that would be very wonderful, and hugely appreciated. At which point I will shimmer from the room and back into the pantry of reserve, that splendid and cosy little place full of the tarts of diffidence and the potted shrimp of bashfulness, where I will resolve never to brutalise an extended metaphor like this, ever again…

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Will le Fleming is a novelist. His debut, Central Reservation, is published by Xelsion and available now. Read more...

On a grey Thursday morning Holly lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, and wished her sister would die. Five hours later her wish came true. Read more...

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