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Books

Wrangles over the Rust Belt

Benjamin Markovits’s novel You Don’t Have to Live Like This shows how a scheme to reclaim decayed Detroit unravels in kidnappings and vigilantism

4 July 2015

9:00 AM

4 July 2015

9:00 AM

You Don’t Have to Live Like This Benjamin Markovits

Faber, pp.392, £14.99, ISBN: 9780571313402

In the opening sentence of this subtle and finely poised novel, the narrator, Greg Marnier, known as ‘Marny’, admits that he ‘was never much good at telling stories’. By the end he is accused of having a ‘confessional streak, but no real desire to explain yourself’, while realising that ‘everything people do, everything they say, is just a clumsy form of self-defence’.

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