The Truants: ‘So this is desire. I want to f**king eat him’

Book review: Kate Weinberg’s intelligent debut is set in a vividly rendered English university

   The Truants marks author Kate Weinberg out as a natural storyteller  who spins a decent yarn with lots of smaller yarns along the way

The Truants marks author Kate Weinberg out as a natural storyteller who spins a decent yarn with lots of smaller yarns along the way

In a characteristically thought-provoking conversation between a lecturer and student in Kate Weinberg’s debut novel The Truants, the writer Agatha Christie is summarised: “Private, reserved, a triumph of the rational – like the books she wrote, in which mysteries are only puzzles to be solved, all chaos neatly tidied up at the end, the murderer brought to account.”

This description of Christie later gets disproved, one of many interesting intertextual strains in The Truants. Weinberg herself has an aversion to neat endings, or neatness in general – her plot takes surprising turns, her characters are multifaceted, and their dialogue pings with curious anecdotes and diversions that, unusually, add rather than detract from the whole.

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