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Ex police officer compulsively revisits the April day in 1989 that changed his life forever Trapped in his memories of the disaster he tracks the Hillsborough inuests uestioning everythingAs the young women negotiate Sheffield’s violent inheritance the rock faces of Stanage and their relationships with each other Mort stunningly grounds these This is Helen Mort s first novel previously she has been known as a poet generally writing about the experiences of hikers and the mountains they play on That theme continues here each chapter is separated by a page long piece of prose almost poems about the different climbing areas of the Peak DistrictAs you may guess this isn t a plot driven novel It focuses on the life of a community police officer Alexa and her girlfriend who despite their mutual love of climbing their relationship has become strained The settings have great appeal from the rocks and uarries surrounding Sheffield to its pubs and nightlife Underlying all though and haunting their lives are the painful memories of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster More than anything else it s a novel about trust so evident between climbers and explored deeply in the relationships between the key characters The various strands never uite come together though and I was left with the feeling that I had read several interwoven short stories with none of them strong enough to to give the whole thing a backbone

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Black Car Burning

Journeys of trust and trauma fear and falling in the texture of the urban and natural terrain underfoot'A beautifully accomplished debuta deeply felt work of loss time and healing' Guardian‘Helen Mort is unmistakably one of the most brilliant poets of her generation; Black Car Burning shows her to be a remarkable novelist’ Robert Macfarlan I ll direct you to Ellie s review for a complete description of the review I d write if I was not so lazy I ve never been to the Sheffield area so did a lot of Googleing especially for images I loved the character sketches of places between the people chapters This was the clearest evidence that Mort is a poet I look forward to her next novel

Helen Mort å 2 Summary

The debut novel from the brilliant and award winning poet Helen MortAlexa is a police community support officer whose world feels unstableCaron Alexa’s girlfriend is pushing her away and pushing herself even harder A climber she fixates on a brutal route Leigh who works at a local gear shop watches Caron climb and feels complicitMeanwhile an In this evocative paean to the city of Sheffield and the Peak District the rugged landscape is given its own lyrical voice in a poetic metaphor for the steely grit of the rock climbing community Juxtaposing the underpinning of common purpose and mutual support of this climbing fellowship is the betrayal of another sporting community s trust as shown in the Hillsborough Stadium tragedy which overshadows the narrativeWith ancestral ties and having lived and worked for most of my life in and around the Peak District this exuisite tribute to its glorious landscape resonated with my deep fondness for this part of EnglandReviewed for Whichbooknet


10 thoughts on “Black Car Burning

  1. says:

    The Sheffield poet writer and climber Helen Mort was one of Robert Macfarlane's companions on the trip to Greenland he describes in Underland A Deep Time Journey which was coincidentally the last book I read before this one I have been wanting to read this since seeing the hardback reviews last year there are not many novels in which climbing forms a prominent part and this one is a worthy addition to the small canon that includes Electr

  2. says:

    In this evocative paean to the city of Sheffield and the Peak District the rugged landscape is given its own lyrical voice in a poetic metaphor for the steely grit of the rock climbing community Juxtaposing the underpinning of common purpose and mutual support of this climbing fellowship is the betrayal of another sporting community's trust as shown in the Hillsborough Stadium tragedy which overshadows the na

  3. says:

    A love letter to Sheffield South Yorkshire and climbing Having loved Mort's poetry collection Division Street nam

  4. says:

    ‘I just can’t stop having nightmares’‘You and the rest of South Yorkshire love’Alexa is a polyamorous cop with a climbing obsessed girlfriend Her estranged dad was a cop on duty during the Hillsbrough disaster It’s an oddly eclectic premise if you don’t know anything about Sheffield but if Sheffield were to write a novel I’m sure it’d sound a lot like Black Car Burning And the neighbourhoods and landsca

  5. says:

    This is Helen Mort’s first novel previously she has been known as a poet generally writing about the experiences of hike

  6. says:

    This is a novel that for me is hard to review Why Because while this probably isn't the book for a reader like me I still have to appl

  7. says:

    I'll direct you to Ellie's review for a complete description of the review I'd write if I was not so lazy I've never been to the Sheffield area so did a lot of Googleing especially for images I loved the character sketches of places between the people chapters This was the clearest evidence that Mort is a poet I look forward to her next novel

  8. says:

    Black Car Burning is the poet Helen Mort's first novel Set in her native Sheffield it weaves multiple strands into a finely stitched tapestry of the city and the neighbouring Derbyshire Peak District Anyone who knows Sheffield will also know how the western side of the city merges almost imperceptibly with the moors and gritstone ridges of the Dark Peak Helen Mort brings together the stories of a seemingly disparate group of char

  9. says:

    Landscape as character character as landscape a novel of details so specific that they become almost ambient

  10. says:

    Reading Black Car Burning was an interesting experience as well as an interesting book I am no climber I can understand t