Simon Raven Michael Barber - Essay

Michael Barber

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

For all his worldly pagan sermonising, Simon Raven is as obsessed by sin and retribution as a hell-fire divine. This has been apparent from the very beginning of his Alms for Oblivion sequence, in the first volume of which the coarsegrained Jude Holbrook … is cruelly punished for his shystering by the death of his beloved young son. Since then all the protagonists, as well as a few more secondary players like Holbrook, have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. And while most of them have richly deserved their respective come-uppances, it's interesting that what has sometimes tipped the scales against them is a minor misdemeanour—minor, that is, by conventional standards but not, one supposes, by...

(The entire section is 625 words.)