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Metronome Sessions

Book Review: The Beauty Within Shadow by Henry Normal

13 November 20 words: Jason Edgar

With a CV that boasts a contribution to British comedy that few can equal, you’d be right to expect more than your fair share of humour from The Beauty Within Shadow, the latest poetry collection from Henry Normal. But if laughs were all you were expecting, you’re in for a welcome surprise...

Like all great comedy, Normal’s writing is anchored firmly in pathos and an understanding of the human condition that is at once universally relatable and wonderfully, idiosyncratically British. His adroit use of language is playful and joyous, inviting you in like an old friend sharing an anecdote, before hitting you broadside with a level of emotion you perhaps weren’t expecting. Weighty, impactful highlights like Found alive and well and living in obscurity and To those reading these poems after my death are wonderfully counterbalanced by sharp, witty observational pieces like The Earth is over 4.5 billion years old and Why not put solar panels on your roof? The eclectic collection takes us from Greek mythology to dealing with COVID, and is a relentlessly enjoyable read. With Normal set to perform at the Nottingham Poetry Festival this month, it’s the perfect time to grab a copy.

Henry Normal website

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