Fans of West Camel’s mesmerising and elegant 2018 debut Attend will love this wonderfully immersive new outing from a truly original literary talent.
When your debut novel receives an avalanche of accolades and is shortlisted for the Polari First Novel prize and the Guardian “Not The Booker Prize”, there must be some pressure for a writer as they embark on that “difficult second novel.”
West Camel has spent the intervening years meeting that challenge handsomely for Fall is a beautifully conceived contemporary tale of twin-sibling rivalry between Aaron, skinny, grey haired, final resident of Marlowe Tower on the Deptford Strand Estate, designed by their architect Mother, Zöe, and his property developer brother, Clive, whose plans to turn the tower into luxury flats are being thwarted by Aaron’s refusal to sell up.
Into this present day narrative, flashbacks to the boys' past introduce twin sisters Annette and Christine and hint at secrets and darkness to come as the novel develops into a deep, rich story of families and friendships with an underlying drone note of supremely well-managed tension.
What really makes this a superb, deeply affecting novel is Camel’s ability to build a credible world that draws you in, page by page, and to populate it with fully drawn characters through a writing style that evokes the dark languor of early Ian McEwan.
By exploring the fragile architecture of lives and the scaffolding that supports them, Camel has created a darkly evocative tale that speaks of prejudice, of fear and of the moments that come to define our futures.
Be in no doubt, this is a novel you just have to read to understand how good it is and with this second step, Camel seems set on a path to prizes.
Estranged brothers are reunited over plans to develop the tower block where they grew up, but the desolate estate becomes a stage for reliving the events of one life-changing summer.
Twins Aaron and Clive have been estranged for forty years. Aaron still lives in the empty, crumbling tower block on the riverside in Deptford where they grew up. Clive is a successful property developer, determined to turn the tower into luxury flats.
But Aaron is blocking the plan and their petty squabble becomes something much greater when two ghosts from the past - twins Annette and Christine - appear in the tower. At once, the desolate estate becomes a stage on which the events of one scorching summer are relived - a summer that shattered their lives, and changed everything forever...
Grim, evocative and exquisitely rendered, Fall is a story of friendship and family - of perception, fear and prejudice, the events that punctuate our journeys into adulthood, and the indelible scars they leave - a triumph of a novel that will affect you long after the final page has been turned.
|Publication date:||9th December 2021|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Praise for West Camel's debut novel Attend
'From its opening gambit to its final line, Attend demands and rewards attention' Foreword Reviews
'With its blend of dark, gritty themes and gorgeous imagery, this is a book to make you believe there's still magic in the world' Heat
'I've fallen in love with this absolutely glorious, spell-binding tale' LoveReading
'It's a genuinely pleasurable experience to encounter something couched in such alert and transparent language as West Camel's Attend ... In three hundred finely judged pages, West Camel leaves the reader eager for more from his pen' Barry Forshaw, CrimeTime
'Lyrical and intense, the spellbinding prose is full of carefully chosen words which create an emotive and flowing' Crime Review
'Rich, lively and intelligent, Attend is a novel of mystery, morality and meaning, but so delicately sewn together, you never notice the seams...' Rosie Goldsmith
'There is such a joy to the language. West Camel is a truly gifted wordsmith, and a beautiful storyteller' Louise Beech
Born and bred in south London - and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name - West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda Books with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghost-writing a ...More About West Camel