Cove – Cynan Jones – A review


When I read a book I generally have an idea of what I am letting myself in for. I can gather a vague understanding of the themes, motifs and symbols that will arise. I will also have an idea of the way it will be written. For example, I know that if I read an E.L James novel, it will be shit. I have never read anything by Cynan Jones before and I went into it with no prior knowledge of him. This is how I believe you should read his work. Read it blind. Do your research beforehand and you’ll be confused and ultimately disappointed. Go blind and you will love the sublimely crafted, minimalist text. Jones has no words that are pointless. Every word carries as much poignancy and gravitas as the previous. Done so to strip the story of skin and bone, to lead you to the heart of this great book.

I picked up Cove because after adding numerous novels to my shopping trolley I stumbled across it. I drew parallels to The Old Man and the Sea and since Hemmingway is one of my favourites, I had to give it a go. I was not disappointed. Cove is a story of a man who has gone out to fish in his kayak and he gets struck by lightning. Then follows his soliloquy of dealing with his current situation and his life at home. That is all I can give in regards to a summary and, honestly, that is all that is needed. If you want a tale filled with well fleshed characters, a fitting conclusion and no straggly ends, give Cove a miss. However, if you love beautifully crafted imagery and symbolism to rival Joseph Heller then do give it a read.

I loved Cove, I thought that it was a wonderful book and clocking in at less than 100 pages means you could read it in your lunch hour. I can’t write masses about it because I want you to read it for yourself. You need to experience this wonderfully different style of writing, you may love it, you may hate it. You won’t know though, until you have given it a go. To surmise, love Hemmingway? Excellent! This is extreme Hemmingway minimalism. Go buy it. Now. The Dig is already in my shopping cart, I’m just waiting for my payday.

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