The Unfortunates

Jon McGregor - B.S. Johnson, The Unfortunates (1969)

Although known mostly for its format - individually-bound chapters presented loose in a box, to be shuffled by the reader - the real boldness of this 1969 novel lay in its evocation of the dislocation wrought by grief; the way in which the narrator circles around the heart of the story, never quite sure in which order the pieces fall, is reflected as much in the prose style itself as in the unusual format. This novel also contains, in its portrayal of a sports writer writing a match report on the hoof, one of the clearest accounts of the writing process I know.

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