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.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the tussle between these 2 characters who seem to have parallel existences in the plot. I don’t think they ever really know much about each other – and considering how important they are to each other this seems odd.
Pinkie’s spiral has elements of black humour in it – and I was tickled by the way he kept speculating about the ‘massacre’ he would need to keep his original murder quiet – if it was a murder… He just seems to keep digging does poor old Pinkie – while his nemesis Mr Colleoni seems to float along quite at ease, I half expected a showdown between them, but the innocence of Pinkie’s character prevents him ever being able to conduct himself as a real – self-actualised mobster after Kite’s demise.
I visualized Ida as a kind of Pam Ferris character. Her dogged nature and apparent fearlessness seem reminiscent of many of Pam’s characters. Her relationship with Phil Corkery was odd. What sort of a man was he? I guess he was just someone to boss around. He seemed a weak link in the characters, unless I’ve missed something. She seemed an innocent sort as well.
I felt that there were a lot of innocents in this story, despite all of the violence and cruelty, even the baffled policeman at the end – who was described as a ‘stranger at a party’; but still a good aim with a truncheon, thankfully.
Get Ready For Pinkie! Looking forward to meeting him in our next book Brighton Rock.