Milk, Sulphate, and Alby Starvation
by Martin Millar
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An air of comical amphetamine dependence pervades Martin Millar’s debut novel, Milk, Sulphate, and Alby Starvation. The protagonist, Alby, is a twenty-six-year-old paranoiac and small-time sulphate (i.e., speed) dealer convinced that both Chinese gangsters and the Milk Marketing Board have contracts out on his life. The book’s plot is chopped into raucous little sections that seem to reflect the characters’ short attention spans, while its sentences, in their haste to catalog the chaos, often forgo punctuation entirely. Indeed, one comes to feel thoroughly under the influence of Millar’s lively, hurtling prose.
Milk was first published in 1987, when Millar was thirty and living in Brixton, in South London. A center of urban decay, gang violence, and ethnic conflict, the area was nonetheless an exciting place to
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