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Serious Things by Gregory Norminton
Serious Things centers around Bruno Jackson, an overweight civil servant who is detached from life. A chance encounter with a childhood acquaintance, Anthony Blunden, rocks him emotionally. They attended the same boarding school as boys. Bruno was an outsider there, bookish, soft, and raised in Malaysia, while Anthony was beautiful and charming. They formed an odd relationship with Bruno perhaps more reliant on Anthony than the other way around. The boys were taken under the wing of a liberal teacher, Mr. Bridge, which leads to actions that have since unsettled Bruno's life. Serious Things jumps back and forth between the present and the early 90s as Bruno explains the past and what he must do in the present to get his life back on track. Gregory Norminton's novel has received positive reviews with The Independent saying, "Bar some occasionally uninspiring dialogue, it's superbly written, with not a superfluous word, and enriched with wonderfully vivid images."