Now I know that I can take Tim Parks more seriously than I used to.
This guy could and can write something better than sweet and sour accounts of his Italian family life. Not to mention those times in which Parks wrote about a season he spent having a fling with the gross supporters of an Italian football team (sic!)
This novel flirts quite a lot with the likes of David Lodge, but has a black and somehow American-like mood rather than a touch of British humour.
What I learnt from "Tongues of Flame" is the utter confirmation that those who mispronounce "Ay-men" instead of "Amen" are not the kind of people I'd like to spend time with.
For once I lived in sin, Father Tim. Behold! Once I attended a Christian gathering somewhere in Scandinavia. It happened by chance. No hosts involved. No gospel choir.
And while listening to two zealous guys named Jeremi-ah and Jebedi-ah reading chosen passages of the Corinthians aloud (by the way, does anyone know where to find those Corinthians on a pocket Bible?) I understood that the free dinner we were offered before -sheep stew- was not enough a reward for such proselitism.