At a glance its style looks even more compressed and elliptical than last time; Temple is the kind of writer who makes extensive demands on the reader's intelligence and no concessions to any momentary lapse of concentration. His writing reminds me of Dorothy Dunnett's and the way that she, too, cavalierly leaves vast tracts of information unexpressed and unexplained, and makes the sorts of jokes that depend largely on what is not said, making you howl with laughter but only after a longish internal silence while you work it out. Reading them both is a sort of chairbound steeplechase, a series of wild attempts to get to the next paragraph with your understanding fully intact. The epigraph is a haunting, abstract scrap of Rilke:
But because truly, being here is so much; because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.