Niall Griffiths reviews Limestone Man by Robert Mihinnick

Limestone Man

Seren, £9.99

Richard Ieuan Parry (note those initials) is, at the opening of Robert Minhinnick’s second novel, sitting at a street market in Adelaide, among that city’s Chinese community. He’s an exile among exiles, pointing out the minutiae of a dislodged culture(s). There is lotus tea and lotus flowers and a barman who tips a conspiratorial wink. There are vague memories of a girl called Lulu and a place on the other side of the planet called The Caib. What is Parry? An ex-teacher, for certain, and maybe a writer and painter manqué, and a keen compiler of lists. More fragments of memory emerge; blood and slaps and fog. We will, later, discover that Parry is a wine connoisseur, an obsessive muso, a wannabe Malcolm McLaren, and a character of such monumental self-absorption that to spend more than a few moments in his head is to invite thoughts of self-destruction.

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