Reviews of ‘Shear’

Following Fault Lines

Times Literary Supplement, 10 September 1993

By Nicholas Wroe

Tim Parks is a versatile writer In addition to translations of Calvino, Moravia and Calasso, he writes for the trade journal of the association of Italian Stone Machine Manufacturers. In Shear, his sixth novel, the strands of his literary career come together in a powerful and impressive work.
Peter Nicholson is a geologist, sent by his London office to investigate a quarry on a Mediterranean island for his Australian clients. There is a dispute with the quarry owners, and Nicholson has been briefed to find fault with the site and to write a damning report. He is accompanied on the trip by his young mistress, Margaret, with whom he intends to spend most of the four days, either on the beach or in bed. This plan is soon disrupted, first by the appearance of the widow of an Australian worker killed at the quarry, and then by a fax from his wife informing him that she is pregnant.

Hazel Own, clearly unhinged by grief, is looking for the reason for her husband’s death. With her young daughter in tow, she haunts the quarry and Nicholson’s hotel, asking questions and threatening revenge. Peter’s wife makes it clear that unless he responds quickly and enthusiastically to her news, she will have an abortion. When Nicholson explains the mechanics of a rock fall, he speaks of more than just geology.
‘Imagine a man released from the pressure cooker of home for a week. His heart expands, doesn’t it, his mind opens. Like a sponge when you let go. Well, it’s the same with the rock when you pull it from under the hill and slice it up. Stress relief. And as it expands, it fractures, in a cobweb of tiny cracks. Resistance to shear is reduced, it becomes more fragile.
Shear then occurs when ‘pressure is applied in at least two different and not diametrically opposite directions.’

As Peter, reluctantly, becomes more involved in the dubious activities of the quarry and Hazel’s plight, so his personal tribulations increase in intensity. By the time London instructs him to drop the case, forget his report and come home, it is too late for him to walk away from his tasks. He has already begun the exhausting work of digging deeply into the self and into the mysterious events he has stumbled on.
Parks handles his material with certainty. The intricate geological imagery, although studded by an uninhibited use of industrial and scientific language, is never seen to be crudely bolted to the narrative. The subtle links between client and contractor are illustrated in a range of relationships. The classical allusions are poignant and evocative. This technical mastery allows Parks to present with absolute clarity the complex motivations that drive Peter Nicholson on.

As the moral and emotional pressures intensify, so the imperfections of the rock are mirrored in the characters and the situation. Nicholson is pulled by demands from himself, his wife, the clients, his mistress and his boss. At stake is the marriage, the life of an unborn child, his career, his relationship with Margaret and potentially the lives of many, if the stone he approves for building is not safe. It is inevitable that all decisions and choices will emerge as suspect. Even integrity can be ‘just a cover for escape’.
The dust-jacket quotes a description of Tim Parks as, ‘the best British author today’. On the evidence here, there should be no reason to be so parochial in praising him in future.

177 thoughts on “Reviews of ‘Shear’

  1. Troy Mosseri

    you are actually a good webmaster. The web site loading paceis incredible. It kind of feels that you’re doing any unique trick.In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a great job on this subject!

  2. etimetracklite 10.0 license key crack

    Hey very nice site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I am satisfied to find a lot of helpful information here within the put up, we’d like work out more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  3. hack defender 3

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  4. farmville tropic escape hack

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to grasp so much approximately this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you could do with some to force the message home a little bit, however instead of that, that is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  5. gplink mcent

    Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too fantastic. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great site.

  6. disk drill activation code 2.0.0.334

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  7. how to get help in windows 10

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all folks you actually recognize what you’re talking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Please additionally seek advice from my site =).

    We can have a hyperlink exchange contract among us

  8. gamefly free trial

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and
    I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to
    give something back and aid others like you aided me.

  9. Leopoldo Agustino

    Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Many thanks!

  10. Free Stuff

    Thanks for your blog post. The things i would like to bring about is that computer memory ought to be purchased but if your computer can no longer cope with that which you do by using it. One can mount two good old ram boards with 1GB each, for example, but not certainly one of 1GB and one having 2GB. One should make sure the maker’s documentation for the PC to be sure what type of memory is needed.

  11. gamefly free trial 2019 coupon

    Pretty component to content. I simply stumbled upon your
    web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually loved account your
    weblog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing for your feeds and even I
    success you access consistently fast.

  12. ps4 best games ever made 2019

    Admiring the dedication you put into your
    blog and in depth information you provide. It’s
    nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same
    unwanted rehashed material. Great read! I’ve bookmarked
    your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google
    account.

  13. quest bars cheap

    Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact was a leisure account it.

    Look complex to more brought agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep up a
    correspondence?

  14. katekowalsky

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!

  15. plenty of fish dating site

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I will certainly comeback.

  16. LesIodifs

    Cod Zentel No Prescription Medicine Overseas Low Price Cialis Generique En Pharmacie El Viagra Ayuda A Durar Mas viagra 100mg Viagra Best Price Viagra Purchase

  17. rudemonkcom

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal website now 😉

  18. how to get help in windows 10

    First of all I would like to say terrific
    blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
    I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.

    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted simply just trying to figure out how to
    begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thanks!

  19. quest bars cheap 2019 coupon

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put
    in writing this site. I really hope to see the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has
    inspired me to get my own, personal site now ;
    )

  20. quest bars cheap

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It’s always interesting to read articles from other authors and use something from their sites.

  21. how to get help in windows 10

    I think this is among the most vital info for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark
    on few general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D.

    Good job, cheers

  22. natalielise

    It’s actually a cool and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this useful info with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.
    plenty of fish natalielise

  23. smore.com

    I got this web site from my buddy who informed me regarding this website and now this time I am browsing this site and
    reading very informative articles or reviews at this place.
    natalielise plenty of fish

  24. plenty of fish

    Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  25. dating site

    Admiring the time and energy you put into your blog and detailed information you
    present. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the
    same out of date rehashed information. Excellent read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  26. plenty of fish dating site

    I really love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did
    you make this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create
    my own site and would love to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is
    named. Thanks!

  27. plenty of fish dating site

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would
    like to find out where u got this from. kudos

  28. minecraft games

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it
    up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any ways to help prevent content from being stolen?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  29. descargar facebook

    I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as
    no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re wonderful!
    Thanks!

  30. Lilia Frain

    I wanted to compose you that little bit of remark just to thank you so much over again over the extraordinary methods you have shared above. This has been extremely generous of you to supply extensively precisely what numerous people would have marketed as an ebook to help with making some bucks for their own end, most notably given that you could possibly have done it in the event you decided. Those tactics also acted to be a good way to realize that the rest have similar interest the same as mine to grasp very much more on the subject of this condition. I am sure there are lots of more fun times in the future for many who go through your website.

  31. minecraft games

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It will always be interesting to read through content from other writers and use a
    little something from other sites.

  32. Modesto Hartlen

    I intended to create you a tiny remark to be able to thank you so much again for the incredible tips you have discussed on this page. It has been tremendously generous with people like you to present freely what most people might have supplied as an e book to help make some dough for themselves, even more so since you might well have tried it in the event you considered necessary. Those basics additionally worked to become good way to understand that many people have similar fervor just like my very own to realize a whole lot more around this condition. I’m certain there are millions of more pleasurable moments up front for people who take a look at your site.

  33. ETIAS Visa

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come
    here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create
    your theme? Superb work!

  34. quest bars cheap

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways,
    just wanted to say excellent blog!

  35. quest bars cheap

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog.
    He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent
    for this information! Thanks!

  36. quest bars cheap

    Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i
    subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a
    acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  37. quest bars cheap

    you’re really a excellent webmaster. The web site loading pace is amazing.
    It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.

    Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have
    performed a wonderful activity in this topic!

  38. Hairstyles

    Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of clever work and coverage! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve you guys to blogroll.

  39. minecraft games

    I like the valuable info you provide to your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once
    more here regularly. I’m somewhat certain I will be told a
    lot of new stuff proper right here! Good luck
    for the next!

  40. minecraft games

    This is really fascinating, You’re a very professional blogger.
    I have joined your feed and sit up for searching for extra of your magnificent post.
    Also, I have shared your website in my social networks

  41. sms marketing agency

    Heya just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of
    the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think
    its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different
    browsers and both show the same results.

  42. ESTA offdicial

    Hi, i feel that i noticed you visited my website so i got here to go back the
    desire?.I’m attempting to to find issues to enhance my web site!I suppose its good enough to use some of your ideas!!

  43. minecraft games

    Right here is the perfect blog for everyone who wishes to find
    out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that has been discussed for
    a long time. Great stuff, just excellent!

  44. minecraft games

    Thank you for some other great post. Where else may anyone get
    that kind of info in such a perfect method of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such
    information.

  45. viagra

    I really love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to
    create my own website and want to find out where you got
    this from or just what the theme is named.
    Kudos!

  46. Hairstyles VIP

    I’ve come across that now, more and more people are now being attracted to camcorders and the subject of picture taking. However, being photographer, you will need to first commit so much period deciding which model of photographic camera to buy in addition to moving via store to store just so you may buy the lowest priced camera of the trademark you have decided to pick. But it isn’t going to end just there. You also have take into consideration whether you should purchase a digital photographic camera extended warranty. Thanks a bunch for the good recommendations I gathered from your weblog.

  47. Bail By Phone Tampa

    Hello! I understand this is kind of off-topic but I needed to ask.
    Does managing a well-established website such as yours
    require a lot of work? I am completely new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal
    everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Thankyou!

  48. Hair Styles

    There are actually a number of particulars like that to take into consideration. That is a nice level to deliver up. I supply the ideas above as common inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you deliver up where a very powerful thing might be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round things like that, but I’m positive that your job is clearly recognized as a good game. Both girls and boys really feel the influence of only a moment抯 pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  49. quest bars cheap

    Thank you for any other magnificent article.
    Where else may anybody get that type of info in such an ideal
    method of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week,
    and I am at the look for such information.

  50. quest bars cheap

    Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative.

    I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *