the heritage

by uzwi

Kitchenly Mill is the idyllic East Sussex retreat of Marko Morrell, guitar god with 70s rock band Fear Taker. It is a seriously moated Jacobethan mansion, with Arts and Crafts restorations and contemporary architectural additions – “air bridges” that connect the main house to its outliers. It’s a work of love, and clearly an object of love for Morrell’s pre-fame sidekick, Crofton Clark, who narrates. Alan Warner’s ninth novel, like his earlier work in Morvern Callar or The Sopranos, layers together music, culture and individual psychology so they seem to become a single, composite material; and it does so under a biblical epigraph – Luke 16.2: “Give an account of thy stewardship.” If Clark loves Kitchenly, he worships Morrell, whose Fender makes the “mighty noise of consequence and of economic empowerment”. He’s been around Fear Taker in one capacity or another since the beginning, latterly deriving his entire identity from the association. The changing world at Kitchenly, and Crofton’s place in it, is the central concern of a novel that begins in the English uncanny valley, moves through an unforgiving comedy of errors, and culminates in fierce acts of realism. My review of Kitchenly 434 in the paper Guardian today, or here.