Geoff Nicholson's latest book is a fun read that doesn't amount to too much. And while the protaganist is likable and nicely drawn, there is little movement or development in her character.
In general Nicholson is a cultural critic, a sort of poor man's Roland Barthes. And his observations about architecture in "Female Ruins," are funny and astute. One gets the feeling, after reading a lot of Nicholson, that this is the reason he writes novels. He wants to talk about some subject that is obsessing him. Whether it be the electric guitar, VW bugs, foot fetishism, or the city of London, it's always some external subject that drives the story. Sometimes this is successful (Hunters and Gatherers, Bleeding London, Everything and More) and sometimes this drive to explain and expose the facts gets in the way (Flesh Guitar).
Here we have a story that carries the reader through, but doesn't ultimately satisfy. Female Ruins won't bore you, it's a nice ride, but when you close the book you'll be finished with it.
Female Ruins is a forgettable book.