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The Perfect Golden Circle: Selected for BBC 2 Between the Covers Book Club 2022

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Themes of British colonisation weigh heavily throughout the narrative, informed mostly by Calvert’s experiences of fighting in the Falklands war. I found this interesting within a contemporary novel, the exploration of colonialism, that is. Hand in hand with this is Calvert’s feelings against war and his disdain for the British aristocracy. Woven together, it makes for a powerful sentiment encapsulated within a poetically beautiful novel about fighting trauma and power in the most imaginative of ways.

DNF'd @ 26% - Argh! I'm getting a bit angry lately, but I'm unsure if it's the books I'm angry with, or myself. It seems I've abandoned several books lately. I don't like doing that, but neither do I like to waste time with a book I'm not enjoying! So here I go again.😕 Benjamin Myers is in my opinion one of the greatest British voices in fiction. His previous works Beastings, The Gallows Pole, Male Tears, The Offing, Pig Iron showcase his vast talent and his continued development as a writer, each book is different and each contains lightning in a bottle - if you've not discovered Myers' work yet, I urge you to do so, he's a national treasure. Ich hab die Hoffnung, dass es einfach der falsche Zeitpunkt für das Buch war, denn der Schreibstil war trotz allem wunderschön poetisch, rund und heimelig . Und jetzt beginnt erneut das sehnsüchtig Warten auf das Nächste Buch von dir.


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That melancholy is what makes this book more than just another take on the cultural fights of the ’80s. Calvert is a veteran of the Falklands War, but his mental state is not that of the eternally cursed soldier. He is at times pensive, bitter, laconic and verbose. When we read of how “existence is there until it isn’t”, or summer described as a “cold-blooded lizard beast sitting deep in the ancient dust of an ancient island”, it’s the ambiguity, the deceptive simplicity, that hits home. Most of all, it works, and that’s enough. It centres on the creators of the crop circles, quintessential odd couple Redbone and Calvert. Like the characters in the author’s previous work, which spans historical fiction and rural noir, and includes the 2021 short story collection Male Tears, these men are outsiders. While Redbone lives in an old camper van, is immersed in the crust punk scene and prone to visions hallucinogenic and otherwise, Calvert is a solitary SAS veteran, battle scarred inwardly as well as outwardly from his service in the Falklands. Bathed in moonlight, Myers’s land thrums with more ancient reverberationsIn the late 1970s and 80s pranksters Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, constructed circles in field crops using the simplest of tools, a plank and a piece of rope, and succeeded in creating mass hysteria that began in the tabloid media, suspecting alien communication, angelic warning, or simply, supernatural interference, as the cause. Of course, copycats followed. Dein erstes Buch war für mich ein Lebenslesehighlight und jetzt, mit „Der perfekte Kreis“, kann ich leider so gar nichts anfangen.

Redbone and Calvert are misfits in late 1980's England. Redbone, a self-identified crust punker, lives in his camper van, smokes a fair amount of weed and inks breathtakingly intricate designs in a sketchbook. Calvert is a veteran of the 1982 war in the Falkland Islands. That brief battle did permanent psychic and physical trauma to the young soldier and he hides in small house during the day, curtains drawn against the sun that causes intense pain to eyes damaged in a bomb blast. Myers has produced another great novel here to go with The Offing and Cuddy, already two of my favourites of all time. This was is set in the summer of 1989 in rural Wiltshire and centred around crop circles. It was the time of illegal raves and New Age Travellers and the Thatcher era was beginning to wind down with protests about the poll tax.This is the second novel by Benjamin Myers that I have read, Beastings being the first. The Perfect Golden Circle couldn’t be more different to Beastings, which was far darker and written in a completely different style. Yet, the beauty of Benjamin’s writing persists across both novels. I really do need to read more of his work, I love the way he writes. Take this, for example, which is about an eclipse:

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