The Guardian - Saturday November 22, 2003
Clumsy poetry of violence - Chris Petit on Rule of Night
Rule of Night, by Trevor Hoyle (Pomona, £8.99)
Hoyle's sour antidote to A Clockwork Orange was first published in 1975. Teenage miscreant Kenny Seddons, product of a dire flat-pack council estate which comes courtesy of a Swedish architectural predecessor of Ikea, pisses away life in a series of dead-end jobs, boozed-up nights, larks, mostly disappointing sex and confused violence, wondering occasionally if there's anything more to life, short of detention. Not much: the pub regulars play dominoes, oblivious to everything except sclerosis, cancer and avarice. It's a familiar tale, redeemed entirely in the telling. Hoyle's tack-sharp prose catches the then and there, getting inside heads and situations, refusing to exploit and always alert to the speed and clumsy poetry of violence.