The final two stories in Leon Garfield's 'Apprentices' series [The enemy and the filthy beast] introduce respectively the love-lorn Hobby, apprenticed to a modeller of plaster statuettes, and Shag, the trainee house painter who spends most of his life venting his earthy humour from his precarious scaffolding perch on those who pass below. These apprentices like their predecessors are, however, first and foremost apprentices to the business of life. (pp. 349-50)
I have not yet read all twelve 'Apprentices' but I suspect that the characteristic Garfield style, with its distinctive imagery and knowing, gentle irony, while weighing a little too heavily in the context of a single short volume, may...
(The entire section is 495 words.)