Rooms could be companions

Luke Kennard

  • The Melody by Jim Crace
    Picador, 275 pp, £16.99, February, ISBN 978 1 5098 4136 3

Alfred Busi, the protagonist of Jim Crace’s new novel, is a songwriter with an enchanting and consoling voice, so celebrated in his home city that, when the book opens, he is about to be immortalised in bronze on its Avenue of Fame. This city, the narrator tartly informs us, is too fond of awarding medals:

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