Read long enough, and you'll answer your own questions. Yesterday
I wondered about the haughtily dismissive first-chapter narrator in Christopher Brookmyre's A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away
. Did this narrator's withering criticism of suburbs reflect Brookmyre's views, in which case it would be fair to accuse the author of taking pot shots at an easy target? Or was the staleness Brookmyre's jab at the narrator's snarkiness and lack of imagination?
I got my answer three hundred pages later in a section narrated by another, more sympathetic character:
"Ray didn't fancy the place much himself back then. but wasn't so dismissive now. ... There were lots of kids playing on the pavements, bikes left unguarded outside front doors, garages open invitingly to reveal toys, garden swings and washer/driers. It was very `choose life' and twee to the point of smug, but was also obvious that crime and fear didn't stalk the place either."
Whatever Brookmyre's feelings about suburbs, suburbs of Aberdeen in particular (and perhaps that "twee to the point of smug" is a clue), he recognizes they can have appeal, and he uses this appeal to effective dramatic purpose, heightening the contrast between a villain and a relatively innocent victim.
© Peter Rozovsky 2009
Labels: Christopher Brookmyre, comic crime fiction, Scotland