Author: Keith Ridgway
Staff Pick: Ant says…
In ‘A Shock’, Ridway’s characters are stitched together in a collective subconscious that is mapped through the walls of shared flats, the shrubbery of front gardens, cycled commutes and mumbled conversations in the musty pubs of a south London neighbourhood. Ridgway returns to themes of surveillance and disappearance, social anxiety, suspicion of the other and the plight of loneliness in an urban existence. He maintains a sharp and witty style that always keeps an eye on wider social issues of race, class and workers’ rights, the balance of which is what makes this novel such a joy. ’A Shock’ is nail on in its analysis of the coping mechanisms a person can be forced to adopt in order to exist in this city, yet it alludes towards the surreal through its skill and imagination. Highly recommended!