Study Ann Quin's mad, brilliant final novel Tripticks, I was often struck by her uniquely garbled phrasing, a thick, high-modern mess of interior thoughts and retentions blended into outward fine point and behaviors, past and present and the entirely imagined mingling on every beep. But in Tripticks, mingling also with a huge attire of intruding outside apposite, brochures and paste synopses and manual verses, which I thought potency account for the garbledness. But no, even here, in her first novel, whose entire wording is apparently its own, nearly every feature stumbles, flailing, through tend and view and personal history. It's disorienting, it certainly keeps you on your toes, but it's acutely discerning and often wildly entertaining once you get the feel for it. All the same, and despite the apriorism promise encapsulated in the famous first track ("A man called Icecap, who changed his name to Greb, came to a seagoing town intending to kill his abbé."), this didn't really feel as fine-honed as the later work. Though the dreary-mysterious off-season Brighton of the book -- the same in which Quin was to disappear into the ocean a decade later -- has its intrigues and muted magics, the dedication of the combatant narrows its interest somewhat. Icecap is a Freudian archetype granted comedic-noir context, a maybe-murderer trapped in oedipal confusion between mom, abbé, and aunts in general. The strictness of the patterns that he finds himself in handclasp some of the surprise out of the story's course, though it is not without its unexpected twists and absurdities. I think, actually, that the greater flow is just that in sticking to a familiar psychological casing scrutiny, Quin drastically limits her corrosive domain contraction the joke that would dash across the entire American view in Tripticks.