Sussex Playwrights Reviews: Architecture for Beginners


Sussex Playwrights Reviews
Architecture for Beginners
A new novel by Robert Cohen
Published by Hobart Books
Robert Cohen has created a monster. A larger than life faded football hero with enormous ambitions for movie stardom and a big vision for a new stadium – but something’s not right. Quite a lot isn’t right.
Reggie’s a barnstorming bully; grandiose and charismatic, with a violent streak and a flair for sentimental display.
The narrator, architect Alex, is a mesmerised Watson drawn back into his orbit decades later, crashing back into a childhood ‘friendship’ remembered rather differently by them both.
Seizing the chance to numb his own perilously teetering marriage and problematic workplace, Alex embarks on a project that will bring its own form of chaos.
This is a book by a playwright and actor and it shows – the writing’s a pacey hurtle, dialogue tumbles out, each distinctive character voice instantly identifiable.
The layered structure works well; a set of flashbacks within flashbacks wrapped in a disaster, memory retrieval a driving force here. There’s a rather enigmatic element too, possibly supernatural or psychological, that will leave you wondering.
It’s a book that wants to be a TV series – visual, energetic and character-driven, with a spectacular ending.
Philippa Hammond