Review: Song of the Sea God by Chris Hill (£8.99, Skylight Press, 2012)

An interesting discussion about some of the themes in Song of the Sea God, particularly the way water is important in the story and its handling of religion. I thought some visitors to my blog might be interested in it.

Poems Underwater

‘Since childhood I have loved to be out in the rain,’ confides our narrator at the beginning of this island novel, which is interrupted by the occasional flotsam or a chorus or two, but for the most part is told through the eyes of our marine hermit.

It begins, for no reason connected to the subsequent plot, with a drowning. Not in water, mind, but in pancreatitis:

I remember the moment I died.

The end came subdued, like a doctor on call. There was no sensation. Feelings belonged to a different world—one which had finished with me.

The disconnection, weightlessness and sheer passivity of being engulfed by that region of space known in this project as ‘underwater’ echoes in the language and serves as a metaphor for the passing from life into death. Even the words on the page descend as if through water. For a drowning man, the dark…

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