Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Fludd: Hilary Mantel

A mysterious stranger arrives in a sleepy, ossified or corrupt community and proceeds to shake things up. It's been done so many times before- in fictions as various as Mary Poppins and Pasolini's Teorema (not to mention any number of westerns)- that it's almost a genre.  In this particular case the ossified society is a skewed version of the Catholic working class community Mantel grew up in and the mysterious stranger is the new curate- or, at least, that's what everyone thinks he is. 

Fludd is charming, witty and beautifully written (of course)- but for a novel published in 1989 its philosophy of subversion- do your own thing, stick it to The Man, drop out and make love- seems quaintly old-fashioned.

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