Martin Booth Critical Essays


Booth, Martin 1944–

Booth, a British poet, journalist, script writer, editor, novelist, and juvenile writer, writes about the relationship of past to present, drawing largely on mythological imagery and symbolism.

[Martin Booth in Coronis espresses a] fondness for the laconic fragment—a device which, enforced in his case by a trick of ritual repetition and a gravely hieratic tone, can become irritating; but otherwise he writes in a quite different vein. For the most part he eschews detailed observation for some attractively off-beat imaginings, where real things become significent in terms of the symbolic roles they play within some ceremony of the imagination. It is not always easy to discriminate in his work between the authentically original and the bizarrely fanciful: some of his images seem to float up fortuitously, others work out an impressively coherent logic of feeling. A mixed volume, in short, with some painfully false notes … and some signs of genuine talent. (p. 1154)

The Times Literary Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1973; reproduced from The Times Literary Supplement by permission), October 5, 1973.