Literary Saloon
Site of Review.

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.

the Best
the Rest
Review Index


to e-mail us:

In Association with Amazon.com

In association with Amazon.com - UK


the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Bigot Hall

Steve Aylett

general information | review summaries | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Bigot Hall

Title: Bigot Hall
Author: Steve Aylett
Genre: Novel
Written: 1995
Length: 153 pages
Availability: Bigot Hall - US
Bigot Hall - UK
Bigot Hall - Canada
  • A Gothic Childhood

- Return to top of the page -

Our Assessment:

B : often great fun, but only a loose assemblage of stories

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
New Statesman B+ 18/8/1995 David V. Barrett

  From the Reviews:
  • "The after-image left behind is gloriously appalling, and there are some great one-liners. But the 30 individual periscopes -- the snapshots which make up the album -- don't have quite the sharpness or the cohesion of Aylett's first "novel", The Crime Studio." - David V. Barrett, New Statesman & Society

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

- Return to top of the page -

The complete review's Review:

       Bigot Hall is even more localized than was the setting of Aylett's preceding and subsequent novels (fabled Beerlight, a town that lives for crime). Bigot Hall is the residence of our nameless young narrator and his Addams-family like relatives.
       The novel is related by a character known, at best, as "laughing boy" -- though he does write out his name as Beelzebub on the blackboard the one day that he attends school. Our narrator is not entirely at ease among his family, a number of whom have decidedly odd and sinister ambitions and intentions. This is a family that keeps trying to bury Grandma -- and one where Nan defies interment at every turn (to great comedic effect).
       Aylett assembles a motley crew of characters, and manages to do a fair number of bizarre things with them. The story is related in short episodes, vaguely strung together, A few of the scenes, and many of the ideas, are inspired, but Aylett does not pull it off with quite the same aplomb as he did with his criminal vision in The Crime Studio. The coming of age of our narrator is one of the more unusual ones around (involving, also, a very close relationship with his sister Adrienne), but the episodic nature leaves one wishing for a bit more cohesion and natural progression. It is, ultimately, just story-telling for the sake of story-telling, and though Aylett does that well enough, it does not quite make for a novel.
       There are a load of laughs here, and a fun (though decidedly malicious fun) time can be had by all. The book isn't quite what it could be, but it is still quite something. A short, gag-filled little novel, providing a fair bit of entertainment.

- Return to top of the page -


Bigot Hall: Reviews: Steve Aylett: Other books by Steve Aylett under review: Other books of interest under review:

- Return to top of the page -

About the Author:

       British author Steve Aylett was born in 1967. He has written several novels.

- Return to top of the page -

© 1999-2010 the complete review

Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links