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Jim Crace


New Member
Picked up Quarantine at a secondhand bookstore while on a quest for a new author (new to me, not new per se). Really enjoyed reading it until the end, which left much to be desired. The ending felt rushed, as if he was eager to get the story over and done with; the story had a lot of potential that he didn't seem to tap.

Went back to the bookstore sometime later and was attracted to the cover of The Devil's Larder this time.
(See, isn't it pretty?)
The book's synopsis described it as a collection of 64 short stories with a "cumulative effect" (quote, unquote) and since it sounded interesting (and I was still highly attracted to the cover :eek:), I decided to give Crace another go. Once again, I enjoyed the stories until I reached the final one and was greatly disappointed. Not only did the stories not have a cumulative effect on me, but the final one left me feeling really lost and cheated.
The last story consisted solely of: "Oh honey"
. Understand the cheeky / playful tone that he is going for, but still didn't appreciate it somehow.

This has led me to the conclusion that, while Crace is an imaginative writer, he is somehow ... pointless. Like the cherry on top of ice-cream sundaes: visually enhancing, but doesn't do much for taste.

Does anyone else feel the same?


New Member
Any Jim Crace fans in this forum? I first discovered him two years ago when a friend recommended "Being Dead". I was so impressed with that book, I immediately read his entire catalogue. He has such a unique voice, and writes so compellingly. And few authors today seem able to cover such a diverse range of subjects so well. "Being Dead" and the marvellous "Quarantine" (which won the Whitbread in 1997) are probably his best works, in my opinion.