The Letters of Ivor Punch, by Colin MacIntyre

Review

Sat, Feb 27, 2016, 00:47

   
 

Book Title:
The Letters of Ivor Punch

ISBN-13:
9780297609261

Author:
Colin MacIntryre

Publisher:
Weidenfeld & Nicholson

Guideline Price:
£14.99

It seems rather nasty to criticise a writer for too many ideas, but Colin MacIntyre’s The Letters of Ivor Punch is crammed with so many characters, events, mythologies, imagined encounters with once real people (Charles Darwin losing his mind, anyone?), incest, evil banker, headless horsemen, a knickers nicker, leaps into the past and squirrels crapping on the Daily Telegraph that it’s something of a head wreck. Set on a Scottish island, it is loosely centred on old Ivor Punch, once the island’s sergeant, who is emboldened to write to President Obama about the release of the alleged Lockerbie bomber, a catastrophe in which his own brother/son died. There are some cracking scenes (I liked the bitch wife), but the story that is trying desperately to break free from the melange of random characters in multiple locations never truly flies.