Cham, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Long-dead Lord Byron started it. The rock star of his age. But a poet with about as much relevance to the blood grudge struggle that marks modern life for most of humanity, as he has to the practice of sliding down snowy slopes on planks of wood. And yet, it was thanks to Byron that Itchy ended up living in Chamonix Mont Blanc, the death-sport capital of the world, among the high mountains and low morals.

In the intervening years he has tried hard with alcohol and adrenaline to numb a past he can't atone for.

Now a serial rapist is stalking Cham's tourist-thronged streets, haunting the same shadows as Itchy and triggering an obsession which will lead him far from Europe's zenith, to the depths of the valley and himself. The promise of Jonathan Trigell's first novel, Boy A, is fully realised in this evocation of the world of extreme sports, where the reckless violence of a callow man?s life comes back to haunt him.




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Set in the high-class ski resort of Chamonix, this is the story of Itchy, a not-so-likeable, nearing 30, barfly, trying to escape from a dark secret in his past. Chamonix, is this novel. has a Freudian underside beneath the hedonistic surface and this underside is an underground carpark in which a series of rapes has taken place durng the season. Like [Boy A], Trigell's best-known work, this book kept me on the edge of my seat, loth to put it down for a second in case the characters went off and did something behind my back. The novel also contains three short stories, supposedly writtn by the central character; in my experience, this is a risky device since that can all too often detract from the main story but Trigell's light touch and pinpoint aim make the reader look forward to the next of these every bit as much as s/he looks forward to resuming the main narrative. Not always a comfortable book to read but the writing alone makes it a sheer joy from the first page to the last.

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