FictionDelphi by Clare Pollard

Delphi by Clare Pollard


This sharp punch of a book is so clever that I am struggling to write a review that will do it justice.

Our increasingly anxious unnamed narrator is living through the Covid pandemic with her DJ husband and ten year old son – sound familiar?

Think back a moment (if you can bear it). Every day we faced a barrage of news that felt like little more than the prophecies of priests thousands of years ago. I know I felt I could not predict what was going to happen next week let alone next month at the time, which was deeply unnerving as someone that always reads the spoilers so there are no surprises. 

“No one used to have to deal with this much future”. 

@poetclare connects the dots between a society of temples and sacrifices to the present day with such agility and humour it left me spinning. A celebrated poet and playwright, this is written in short lyrical chapters, with each section named after many types of ancient prophecy that somehow captures what our contemporary characters are experiencing, as they try to navigate a changed world.

It’s a simple story really, one that millions of us will relate to, the WFH, endless screen time, extreme monotony of cooking and severely reduced human interaction. It’s brilliance lies in the ever so subtle and wry way it captures the chaos, melancholy and entropy that people have faced throughout history and the different yet similar ways we try and deal with the unknown. 

Our narrator visits a clairvoyant, dabbles in tarot and I Ching whilst lamenting the boredom, worrying about her son and questioning her marriage.

Touching on so many topics and written in a stream of consciousness prose that works so well for the pace, it’s mystical, hysterical and philosophical. I could have happily read another 300 pages.

Ad:PR-Thank you @penguinfigtree for sending over a copy.

Order your copy here.

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