THE SLIPSTREAM by Ian Cochrane


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Ron Connel, the narrator of this wispy slice of seedy London life, is a would-be painter, on the dole, living in a grimy bedsit in Chepstow Road. He steals from the local supermarket and liquor store; he has occasional sex with ""Miss Alien,"" a sad, somewhat older woman, whose Greek husband has left her; he has frequent run-ins with his nasty landlord. And Ron spends most of his time drinking and yakking with his equally alienated, unengaging chums: pathethic would-be singing star Dennis, a.k.a. ""Guitar Willie""; Vick, who's about to marry a homely girl for her money; and dandy-ish Anthony, who airily seduces a policeman during one of the gang's drunken pub-crawls. Eventually this merry/grim lifestyle turns truly sour, of course: Ron discovers that one of his casual bedmates is only 13; the guys are reduced to stealing from a church poor-box; there's a car-accident. And Miss Allen finally succeeds in committing suicide. But, with no depth whatsoever to the characterizations here, Cochran's dour comedy--jokey chat (lots of flatulence humor), blandly bleak events, droopy musings--remains limp and undramatic, especially for US readers.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Victor Gollancz--dist. by David & Charles