"Arrival frames many of our experiences of the city: the routine arrival of the commuter each day, the excitement of the tourist at that first glimpse of the metropolis, the anxiety of the migrant – a stranger in a strange city. Sam Thompson’s Communion Town begins with an appeal to a migrant, Ulya, from a faceless official who has been secretly observing her and her husband, ever since they arrived in the city. He tells Ulya that he just wants her to open up, to confess her true feelings. Think of it as your “true arrival in the city,” he says. But the words of this sinister, Kafkaesque narrator ring false. It smells like a trap."
My review of Sam Thompson's novel Communion Town: A City in Ten Chapters, which has been long-listed for the Booker Prize, appeared in the TLS last week. You can read it here.