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Article

Brass

Posted on

Brass

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Helen Walsh
publisher:
Canongate
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B-

Set in contemporary Liverpool, Helen Walsh’s NC-17-rated debut plumbs the adolescent despair of seductive, self-destructive Millie O’Reilley. The gorgeous daughter of a distinguished professor, bisexual Millie likes cocaine, Ecstasy, sex with whores, and slumming with her working-class best friend, Jamie. Narrated by both Millie and Jamie, the novel is packed with wonderful, dark, lyrical rants. Far too many of them, in fact. Brass would have been twice as potent at half the length. Moreover, Walsh’s explanation for Millie’s behavior — that the poor girl is smarting from her parents’ divorce — is shockingly simplistic.