alive with the vivid evocation of place and period that was always
Hargreaves’ forte – juxtaposes a seemingly random sequence of events
with a subtlely undultating Nietschean parable about making the most
of one’s abilities. The end result is a novel by one of the 1970s
most unconventionally creative writers. Oddball characters are
propelled along zigzagging narrative channels, connections are made
with whimsical aplomb. As always, too, everything is burnished with
vitalisingly poetic images.
Mr Strong isn’t
only about life and inventiveness: it overflows with them.
From the book’s
opening pages, in which we are introduced to the secret of Mr
Strong’s power, to a pivotal scene in which he extinguishes a
burning barn, Hargreaves manages to satisfy both intellectually and
emotionally: his work is lyrical yet never forgets the imperative to
restrained, tender yet sardonic, and filled with moments of
emotional complexity . . .
Mr Strong is
a masterclass of powerful human emotions that raises provocative
questions about life, death, and memory and our power to create and
For readers aged 4