My Revolutions

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Issue: 
(318)

Hari Kunzru, Hamish Hamilton, £16.99

My Revolutions covers a period starting with the events of the late 1960s, when all the world seemed to be in a revolutionary phase. It will sweep you along in a whirl of sex, drugs, drink, weapons and guerrilla activity. The political aims of the main character, Mike, can only be achieved through attacking what he sees as symbols of capitalism and all it stands for.

The dirty, bedraggled rooms, flats and houses where he finds himself living or staying over the course of months and years play host to a series of meetings, adventures and romps along the way. Much vomiting is involved.

The story is exciting, drawing us into the action. He has been in prison, has helped construct bombs for blowing up important government buildings, and has been part of robbing a large supermarket and handing out the contents in portions to deserving poor people in west London.

At the start of the book our hero is living with his partner and her daughter in a vegetarian goody-goody sort of relationship, but it gradually emerges that he has assumed a false name and that he is in very real danger of being found out and punished - we know not how or for what.

I did get the suspicion that the idealism of the small band of activists with whom Mike was involved in trying to change the system was going to end in tears. An enjoyable read - but a disappointing outcome.