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Chibiabos83

Simon Raven

Clutching at straws here, but I don't suppose anyone has read any of Simon Raven's Alms for Oblivion sequence? I've got my eye on one of them, but it's not the first one, and I wondered whether anyone knows if it matters which order one reads the books in. This one has a dramatis personae at the start which names all the characters who have appeared in the series so far. It stretches over several pages. Might be a bit of a slog, but it's either that or read the whole series from the start, and I'm not sure I've got the inclination to do that.
Castorboy

I have read the whole sequence and am half through the next series. You could read them out of chronological order as long as you didnít mind the references to previous happenings. I canít do that, so I had to start with the first novel. Each one is an easy read in the sense that it is about politics in post-war Britain, with venal politicians (how unusual!), the characters are simply described and the situations hilarious. Vey much a satire on the Establishment.
As for the dramatis personae, it is not as extensive as it looks; each person does not necessarily appear in each novel. It is just Ravenís way of informing the reader of the relationship of each person to another whenever they are mentioned.
Chibiabos83

Thanks, Castorboy - you're a lifesaver! I may give it a go. The book in question is Fielding Gray, the fourth novel in the series.
Castorboy

Hi, Chib. The three previous novels include hints and allusions to relationships and events which are never fully explained until revealed in Feilding Gray or nearly all revealed because Raven is a true writer and holds a little back about each of his characters. Without giving anything away, I consider FG one of the crucial novels in the sequence but only if the reader has read the previous three. I enjoyed them as holiday reads Ė they seem light reading and yet there are some wonderful set pieces about modern social morality.

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