In Review

Novel of the week: Lean Fall Stand

The ‘triumphant’ new novel from Jon McGregor

Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor

“Jon McGregor’s latest has the most thrilling beginning I’ve read in a novel for some time,” said Claire Allfree in the Daily Mail. Robert Wright, a veteran Antarctic researcher, is on a research mission with two young assistants when they are overtaken by a storm. In the ensuing panic, he suffers a severe stroke, which leaves him unable to speak.

The“utterly distinct” next section is just as good, said Allan Massie in The Scotsman: it focuses on the “state of mind” of his wife, Anna, as she realises she is now her husband’s carer. A final section dealing with Robert’s recovery feels dutiful by contrast – but so brilliant were the earlier parts that “one can easily forgive its banality”.

McGregor is a writer who likes to take risks, said James Walton in The Times. With its “wilful front-loading of the action”, and a main character who can’t express himself, this novel is no exception. But so wholeheartedly does he devote himself to whatever he is describing – whether an Antarctic blizzard, or the moment when Robert relearns how to touch his nose – that he “triumphantly gets away with it”.

4th Estate 288pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor
The Week Bookshop

To order this title or any other book in print, visit theweekbookshop.co.uk, or speak to a bookseller on 020-3176 3835. Opening times: Monday to Saturday 9am-5.30pm and Sunday 10am-4pm.

Recommended

Roti King Battersea: a masterful Malaysian eatery
The menu at Roti King in Battersea is ‘glorious’
In Review

Roti King Battersea: a masterful Malaysian eatery

Six of the best headphones
Man wearing headphones sitting on roof
The wish list

Six of the best headphones

Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel: an impressive country house
Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel in Gloucestershire
In Review

Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel: an impressive country house

A weekend in Dublin
The Ha’penny Bridge over the River Liffey at Temple Bar in Dublin
The big trip

A weekend in Dublin

Popular articles

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?
Nato troops
In Depth

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?

The Week Footer Banner