In association with


A novel like a poem

If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things, by Jon McGregor

The first, and so far, I believe, only novel by Jon McGregor, this is a book that needs more recognition. Reviewers liked it - a lot - and so did I. It is written in a poetic style like a long poem in blank verse. Many of the main characters in the story are never named but are referred to by the house number on the street where the "remarkable things" take place. The story is also like a Greek tragedy, in that almost all of the action takes place in a very short space of time, and on a single street in a typical Northern English city. The street is not a posh or fashionable one; most of the inhabitants are students or immigrants or disabled. There are children playing in the street, which doesn't happen so much in the upscale neighbourhoods. There are people making love in the afternoon, there are very old people who stand at the window and see what goes on in the street. This is an elegaic story, a story full of wonder and melancholy and miracles and disasters and minute observation of the everyday. It's not like any other novel you have ever read.