Review: The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living by Martin Clark

Im probably one of many who have picked up The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living based on a combination of its title and its Joycean cover art. And Im glad to say that, once again, my sense of aesthetics was right on the ball. The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living is Martin Clarks first novel, and its no surprise that it picked up a recommendation as a NYT notable book when it was first published in 2000.

What did surprise me somewhat was the book itself. While the title should have been somewhat of a giveaway, I have to admit that I was not prepared for the strange and lovely Dadaist romp to which I was subjected upon diving into this odd little volume. Perhaps its something to do with my years of inbuilt cynicism towards anyone in the legal profession (while at university I had to endure my fair share of oh, so you didnt apply for law? comments), but given Clarks spot in the legal profession, and the the fact that this book is, arguably (pardon the pun), a legal thriller of sorts, I was expecting something a little more Grisham-esque and a little less, well, fabulous.

The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living opens with our pot-smoking, doughnut-devouring, work-skipping small court judge hero Evers engaged in a strange encounter with an albino woman who ushers him into the bathroom with a proposal. And it is here that the flights of fancy begin. Evers new albino acquaintance turns out to be a woman called Ruth Esther, who offers him cash and an adventure if he finds her brother innocent in a forthcoming case. While this all seems a bit run of the mill, things suddenly veer away with surprising force, and Evers is caught up in a bizarre series of events involving chasing down millions of dollars, a set of antique postage stamps, an uncomfortable affair with an up-and-coming female lawyer who challenges his backwards ideals, the revelation that Ruth Esthers tears may be magical and have the capability of granting wishes, and, subsequently, the suicide of his wife.

The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living is certainly not for those who like to toe the line of narrative restraint. It gads about like a young filly in a spring paddock, darting about all over the place, and problematises just about everything you could expect in terms of plot, character, and theme. Evers is both the hero and the Greek chorus as he discusses how confusion makes things confusing. Hes right, but it doesnt stop this book from being a lot of fun. While it does lag here and there, with certain plot points overwhelming the narrative with no real effect, and the wild goose chase for the missing millions being a tad unnecessary, particularly given that it necessitates a change of setting, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living is an accomplished, and gloriously insouciant, first novel. Only dont do what I did and read it on the planeyoull disembark feeling even more disoriented than usual.

Purchase The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living

plain heathen mischief by martin clarkthe legal limit martin clark

Other books by Martin Clark you might like: The Legal Limit; Plain Heathen Mischief

13 reasons why by Jay Asher shadow of malabron by thomas wharton

Forthcoming Reviews: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (young adult); The Shadow of Malabron by Thomas Wharton (young adult)

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