Lean Fall Stand, by Jon McGregor (4th Estate 2021)

Neil's picture

Inventive as always, this new novel by Jon McGregor is also thrilling, hypnotic and meditative. It unpicks the ongoing ripples of a single event, as this author does so well. It's in three sections, as the title suggests. The first is set in Antarctica, in which a terrible storm hits a field research expedition, the ramifications of which are explored in the later two sections, back in Britain. It's incredibly moving and authentic, reminiscent of Ian McEwan's Saturday in its forensic detail of stroke and aphasia, and the work needed to recover. He's a beautiful prose stylist, and is accumulating a canon of superb novels in which he examines the heroism and courage that it takes to get through an ordinary day.