ACCIDENT by Nicholas Mosley


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This rather irritably obsessive short novel states its existential premise right at the start when Stephen Jervis, who teaches philosophy, tells one of his new students, Anna, ""Now we've got a choice. Before it was Just accident."" The accident of the title however is on more physical grounds and in it, another one of Jervis' students, a young man he really doesn't like, William, is killed. Anna, very drunk, had been at the wheel. During the course of the book she has exercised quite an influence not only on William, but on Jervis and his colleague, Charlie. And at the close of what has been a demonstration and a defense of free will, worrying the questions of guilt versus responsibility, Jervis (and Charlie) are left to determine their own conduct. Mosley has written a number of novels which seem to have had serious attention from critics in England. In fact his style alone commands attention. In an allusive, controlled, nervous prose, ideas and implications sputter fitfully. But it is enervating to read and to an extent self-limiting.

ISBN: 0916583112
Publisher: Coward-McCann