The Perfect Golden Circle is ostensibly about male friendship. Two men, flotsam of the 1980s – Calvert, a Falklands veteran, and Redbone, a failed punk musician – tramp across the English countryside in 1989 making crop circles. ‘Redburn sees life as a thrilling continuum, Calvert considers it a conundrum that can never be solved, only endured.’ How these outcasts met, or what drew them to each other apart from poor personal hygiene, is never made clear. Like two feral Hobbits, they rattle about the dystopian and degraded shires of an England in the death throes of the Thatcher era, making ever more elaborate crop circles.
The reader is informed, not infrequently, that Calvert suffered trauma during the Falklands war.