'Belly-achingly hilarious' Sunday Times 'Written with restless wit ...a pleasure.' Observer 'What makes you smile, and smile, and smile is the elegance of the writing.
Seldom was so much pretentiousness skewered so stylishly.' Novel of the Week, Mail on Sunday 'Everything St.
Aubyn writes is worth reading for the cleansing rancor of his intelligence and the fierce elegance of his prose.' Anne Enright, New York Times Book Review 'Black and brilliant stuff ...Very clever and extremely funny.' The Times
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 272 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date: 18/06/2015
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780330454230
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by RandyMetcalfe
The cutthroat world of high literary competition, or middling mendacious merit, is ready fodder for playful mocking and gentle reconsideration. Edward St Aubyn's approach to the vagaries of a panel of literary judges is both light and glancing. Nothing too much can be made of it. The insights, such as they are, are banal. The criticism is superficial. The barbs are all rhubarbs. And perhaps this lightness of touch is precisely the approach St Aubyn is proposing we ought to take to literary prizes themselves. They're just a bit of fun. Enjoy them like meringue, but don't make a meal of them.While such a novel provides plenty of opportunity for settling scores, I don't see anything like that happening here. Even the more absurd characters, such as Didier the French culture critic, are given worthwhile observations even if these are couched in outlandish theoretical flights of fancy. It is clear that St Aubyn has a genuine fondness for each of these comic creations despite the awkward positions he places them in. And that amicable affection more than rescues this novel from the clutches of spiteful satire.I'm not really recommending it, but if you are on a soulless sunny beach this summer with nothing but time between you and a return to life proper, then you might pass a few pleasant hours in these pages and be no worse for it.