“The Hearing Trumpet,” by Leonora Carrington

Novel, 1974

A blast of a novel, which promises a little more than it delivers, perhaps, although there are flashes of crazy playfulness and sinister goings on along the way. It’s hard to follow what should be a pretty easy thread of a narrative; of an old woman being committed to an old persons’ home-cum-asylum, but there are a number of asides which hang heavily, not least the biography of the nun whose picture hangs over the dining area. When the book’s good, it’s very good, and contains some quite wonderful scenes and language. The trouble is that the overly jumpy structure and themes, which spin the head and lead to what could have been a more fulfilling reading experience.

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