The Politics of Menace by Darren Aronofsky review – serious romcom – and a book to surprise readers

Darren Aronofsky The Politics of Menace Graeme Simsion, Mariner Books £10.99, pp504 I have not the faintest idea what the plot of The Politics of Menace is, but I can tell you what it isn’t. Darren Aronofsky, a talented American writer who is a real live chancer when it comes to Hollywood blockbusters, has produced a quite wonderful slice of futurist fiction here. The novel contains none of the ironic detachment that creeps into so many of his films, and gives the impression of a man who cares for women as if they were friends, as if he were engaging in a long conversation in a crowded cafe. I feel sure that this is not Aronofsky’s intention. He is a real romantic, and I’m absolutely certain that this is not about this. But there are allusions to Twin Peaks (disguised and transcribed here) and The Room (disguised and transcribed there too), and there is lots of secrecy and even worse to come. The Politics of Menace is a seriously challenging novel that will surprise many people.

• The Politics of Menace by Darren Aronofsky is published by Mariner Books (£10.99). To order a copy for £9.99 go to or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99

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