About eighteen months ago, I read and reviewed Jon McGregor’s novel, If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things. It was one of those novels that staggered me, that left me haunted by its beauty, its elegant, its sheer power. If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things is a deeply moving and human account of the ordinary lives of the residents of one street on one remarkable day. It remains one of my favourite books of all time.
But somehow I’ve failed to pick up anything more by Jon McGregor in the last eighteen months. I’m not sure whether this has been a product of chance, or simply because I have so many hundreds of books I want to read – or perhaps because I so thoroughly loved and admired If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things that I was half afraid of reading something else by Jon McGregor, in case it would fail to live up to the superb beauty of that novel. And then last month I finally picked up his short story collection, This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You, and proceeded to nearly cry on the train because of the utter beauty of his writing.