I am some way in to my second reading of BR. Apart from the pacy story, which contrasts so much with the spare, laid-back, almost terse tone of the narrative, I really enjoyed the ambiguities in the characters – pinky for example who seems to live in a land of fantasy, and who is gripped by catholicism in a way boys of his age would find hard to identify with today. Even though
A tortuous tangled writhe through low life which never seems to rise into the world of normality. This nasty little tale brings to mind a wounded animal floundering in the muddy shallows of life, snapping at everything and anything that gets in its way. This entwined with much religious doctrine and iconography only serves to make the book even more bleak and distasteful. The blowsy Ida tries to bring a more moral tone to the novel although she herself has many flaws in a story where the characters are at best vaguely colourful but mostly shadowy and grey. There is a threatening tone from start to finish and I think this is what keeps the reader interested – personally I was rooting for Rose to actually survive the whole Pinkie experience. Charlotte.