Alan Warner's Morvern Callar may be the first novel that deserves its own soundtrack. The music Warner's title character listens to as she drifts aimlessly through her sterile life may be the most worthwhile part of this depressing novel. Following in the footsteps of Trainspotting, another Scottish tale of anomie in the Highlands, Morvern Callar chronicles Morvern's dead-end existence--a joyless round of sex and raves punctuated by the music playing through her portable stereo.
Warner tells this dreary story from Morvern's point of view in a voice that is flat and affectless, as if the girl's soul had died years before though her body continues to function. Morvern Callar is a strange mix of shocking and banal, a mélange with appeal for a very specialized audience.
Annie the Superfast Reader (USA: NY) (2006/10/09): This book was made into a terrific movie with Samantha Morton, and happily this is one of those cases where the book & movie can coexist happily side by side, each succeeding in its own right. Morvern is an indelible character, filled with contradictions, and Warner does a good job of evoking both pathos and frustration as she goes on her journey of grief.