Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut


The saying goes something like ‘expectation leads to disappointment’. That’s really my review of Damon Galgut’s Arctic Summer in a nutshell. Instead of sharing the nitty gritty, I’ll tell a little E. M. Forster-related anecdote.

In 1987 my dad asked me if I’d seen any good movies recently. I replied that Maurice was excellent*. That was the end of the conversation.

So it was somewhat amusing a few weeks later when he returned from his office Christmas party, more than a little embarrassed. He’d taken his staff out for a movie and dinner. The movie was Maurice. I’m sure, given the subject of the story, that his staff were sitting in the cinema thinking “Whaaaaaat? Why would he pick this movie…?…..Well I guess it’s ‘festive’….. Is there a message here that I’m missing….?”

Let’s just file that one under #awkward.

Of course, others felt differently about Galgut’s Arctic Summer. I quite liked the NY Times review, if only for their double entendre (but obvious) title.

2/5 I’ll stick with Forster.

* I was going through an E. M. Forster and Merchant Ivory love-affair – A Room With a View and Maurice (Howard’s End came later)

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