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Andrew O'Hagan's novel is narrated by David Anderton, parish priest and fish out of water in Dalgarnock, a small Ayrshire town. He is disgraced when accused of sexual assault on a teenage boy he has befriended, and his downfall also provides an unsentimental reading of the larger setting. Dalgarnock longs for the satisfaction and justification of an enemy it can see and touch. In Anderton, it finds one. O'Hagan writes with bracing clarity, as if the sentimental despoliation of realism by television's treatment of working-class life had never happened.
Paperback, 278 pages, orig. published 2006, this edition 2007
Author: Andrew O'Hagan