The Restless Supermarket by Ivan Vladislavic


My review of Ivan Vladislavic’s novel The Restless Supermarket has been published at Music & Literature:

Narrated by the cantankerous Aubrey Tearle, a retired proofreader of telephone directories with a penchant for verbosity and an evangelical mania for linguistic propriety, The Restless Supermarket is among other things a remarkably sustained act of ventriloquism. A self-styled guardian of the word-hoard, Tearle sees the “declining standards” of linguistic propriety in a South Africa on the cusp of revolutionary change as not only an affront to intelligibility, but also continuous with a wider decline in “standards of morality, conduct in public life, personal hygiene and medical care, the standard of living, and so on.” Brandishing his holy scripture, the Oxford English Dictionary, Tearle is on a quixotic quest to “correct” a South Africa in a period of flux; narrated in the final years of the century as it “declines to its conclusion,” the novel’s main events take place in late 1993, on the eve of the birth of the new South Africa.

Read the whole review here:

  1. Dear Mr. Byrne, I want to thank you for your thoughtful review of THE RESTLESS SUPERMARKET. It was so well received here at And Other Stories. Thank you! I would love to send you a finished copy of the book if you don’t already have one. Please feel free to email me when you have a moment. Yours truly, Sarah Russo, North American Publicity Director, &OS

  2. Thanks a lot Sarah, that would be great – I’ve just sent you an email

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