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Swimming home (on Kindle)

Is it a bear? is it a plane? No! It’s Kitty fucking Finch and she’s in your swimming pool.

The poet Joe Jacobs is relaxing in a villa in France with his family and friends, when a naked girl appears in their swimming pool. At first they wonder if it’s a bear. And this random ponderance turns out to be quite typical of this book, it’s enjoyably playful with some of the random lines the characters blurt out.

But no, it’s not a bear, Kitty Finch, is a mysterious nymph, alluring to all around her. She’s Joe Jacob’s biggest fan and she’s a bit mental. Yet Joe’s wife, Isobel still invites her to stay. The blue paper is lit, and BOOM, we’re off.

What follows is 4 days serving as 4 chapters, hinged around a poem called Swimming Home that Kitty Finch wants Joe to read and discuss. Kitty Finch seems to involve herself in all around her. What is Joe Jacobs to do with a frequently-naked, alluring nymph who his wife threw at him like a tempestuous serpent?

On the surface that’s it. But there is something lurking in the shadows on every page of this book. It’s not quite in-your-face surreal. But a more subtle surreality, that I quite enjoyed. Like when Isobel tries to help a blind woman find a doctors apartment, and the woman insists she’s brought her to the wrong place. It’s almost like a scene from Mulholland Drive, but not quite.

I also like how punchy the book is. Each scene is more like a snapshot from the holiday, rather than a detailed account. Levy doesn’t bother plugging the spaces between the snapshots with pages and pages of he did this, then he did that.

Is it a bear? is it a plane? No! It’s Kitty fucking Finch. Boom!

4/5

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