Gareth Reeves is a scrupulous writer and To Hell with Paradise is a wonderfully various and mature collection. It distills his collections Real Stories (1984) and Listening In (1993), adding previously unpublished poems and sequences, including a selection from Nuncle Music, a sequence of monologues in the voice of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Distance was the occasion for poems in Real Stories: in California, where Reeves lived from 1970–1975, he wrote about England, in England about California. Distance is not only geographical: poems explore the landscape of memory too. From Listening In comes the sequence, by turns humorous, painful, wry and eloquent, about Reeves's father, poet and critic James Reeves. The poems are enlivened by what Gavin Ewart called a negative spikiness'.