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I have his ‘Am I mad?’ on audio. I’ve gone back to it again and again. Few people could write tragedy like he did. How he’d dissect the corpse of love like the consummate mortician! You knew he was teaching but there was an ever so slight relish in the retelling. You knew also by the end of the crime committed, and one had; that you also were guilty.

I think that’s why we read; once you see the world for instance through his eyes you couldn’t go back. There’s a line of his that bounces off in my skull like Cathedral bells ‘She loved another!’ The sheer weight of them, you relived every heartbreak, every touch, kiss and look. He’d built you up to that point and then you’d see the entire edifice wash off to sea, with a smile on his face and yours. It’s a pleasure entirely in its own class.

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