McCracken is a firecracker stylist and every sentence, every image, is crafted for physical impact — pink blossom hangs from trees like lungs, a man’s tie licks the floor like a tongue. She lines up a colourful cast of contortionists, show girls and ghost hunters, then knocks them down with spontaneous combustion, molasses floods or slabs of stone. However, all the jaunty eccentricity and whimsy can feel tiresome, and in fact the quieter, more ordinary moments are generally more powerful....Bowlaway though, is not supposed to be a quiet book. It is exuberant, a bit bonkers and raw and unflinching. It will find a great many fans — and no doubt some awards, too. If you enjoy quirks and eccentricities, cranks and loons, you’ll probably love it.