I really don’t want to read Kay Burley’s book

7 04 2011

First Ladies by Kay Burley

It isn’t published until May but I think I’ve heard enough already.

 

 

According to Steven Fielding “Kay Burley’s book betrays a venerable tradition”. This is probably the kindest thing that is said about it:

Sky News’s Kay Burley probably does not realise it, but her debut novel First Ladies forms part of a once-vibrant tradition within English literature: political women writing about politics.

For the most part writing about politics, as in real life, has been a man’s job. Disraeli and Trollope set the mould. But a few members of what Disraeli would undoubtedly have called “the fairer sex” have made a distinctive overlooked contribution to the canon.

Some will make snide fun of the limitations of Burley’s prose style. Others shall speculate on whom the “suave PM Julian Jenson” and “sexy TV reporter Isla McGovern” might be based. The most culturally and politically significant aspect of Burley’s novel, however, is the sorry place it leaves this once-noble literary tradition.

I like political fiction. I really don’t like the sound of this.

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Robin a bobbin

17 02 2011

Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

According to Vogue: “Nobody can delve into the dark, twisted mind of a murderer better than a Scandinavian thriller writer”. Nothing like a sweeping generalisation to start things off. However, this is a really good crime thriller and well worth the puff. The blurb summarises it thus:

Harry Hole, drunkard, loner and brilliant detective is reassigned to surveillance after a high profile mistake. He’s bored by his new job until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest because of its possible links to Neo Nazi activity. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. Next Harry’s former partner is murdered. Why had she been trying to reach Harry on the night her head was smashed in? The investigation leads Harry to suspect that the crimes have their roots in the battlefields of Eastern Front during WWII. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion. The Redbreast. He’s your judge, jury and executioner…And he must be stopped.

All good stuff. Looking forward to further cheery storylines in this series. Without wishing to spoil the plot too much I think it only fair to point out that the Redbreast of the title is not, in this case, an actual bird. Nor is he called Robin. In fact he displays very little interest in ornithology whatsoever what with all of that judging and executing.

[Read on iPad]








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