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Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett: ‘Unlike anything you’ve read before’

Checkout 19 is a novel that doesn’t allow itself to be easily categorised but possesses a finely tuned style with a number of tonal shifts.


Claire-Louise Bennett’s Checkout 19 is a book unlike anything you will have read before. Its most obvious quality is that librarians will have little clue where to put it; at times a fast changing novel, at others a magnificent listing of a life lived in books, and at others a smartly written polemic on the vicissitudes of contemporary society, it’s simply unclassifiable.

Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett is out now (Vintage, £14.99)

Bennett has a finely-tuned style, based often on a never-ending conversation with herself, shifting between the formal syntax of a highfalutin literary master and the more gritty, bare world of the narrator’s own travails.

Mainly, though, she’s great company, something the myriad books we’re told about have as their greatest quality as well.

Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett is out now (Vintage, £14.99)

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach local your vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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