Paperback: £ 12.99 A giant one
For those of you who follow me on twitter (@book_geek_says), it is no secret that I did not like or enjoy this book very much!
Let's start with the gratuitous 'Editor's Letter' that starts the whole thing off. How an editor can recommend this book is beyond me! Obviously the editor hasn't read many books in his life, maybe he's only read this one.
The story is about an American author who finds himself with a body in his garden. He gets involved with a Special Branch project and some anti semitism....all unintentionally of course!
This is apparently part of a series. It seems as if one has come before as it alludes to a series of shootings to protect Janet (his prozzie lady friend). However, I didn't feel like I'd missed out on anything plot/character wise. Everything was explained in minute and immense detail and it is quite fine as a stand alone book.
When it came to the language I was a tad confused. It's meant to be set in the 1900s yet, the language was rather modern. There wasn't the formality you would expect in a book set in the Victorian/Edwardian era. There were even modern turns of phrase. I did however enjoy the use of spelling and grammar to depict accents and dialects. That did work and I appear to be becoming a big use of that literary tool....Thank you Mr Irvine Welsh! However, on the language front some of it seemed a bit self aware. I'm not sure if the author Kenneth Cameron is English or American. If he's American then the very self aware americanisms and englishisms are self explanatory. And well to be honest, if the author is english the americanisms are self explanatory too! This book could well be written with American audiences in mind as it makes the UK seem very quaint and stereotypical.
There could be redemption for this novel in the comment on anti semitism. Or, would I be reading too much in to this book to think that it is a comment on anti semitism and not in fact just involving prejudice against Jews as a plot tool? Also, there is a bit of a bit about homophobia, however that is only explored for about 10 pages and soon put to rest.
There is also, the element of the ridiculous about all the stuff that happens to Denton (he's the American author who is the main character). I mean seriously, how can so many things happen to a man in a very very short space of time? How much bad luck can one man have?
If this was meant to be an historical comment on anti semitism then Cameron went about it in the wrong way as far as I'm concerned. Wrapping it up in a farcical and ridiculous murder plot is not the way to do it.
I will not wish you happy reading as this really isn't worth the read.
Read something good!