BOOK REVIEW / Bookshop Window : DI & I, Peter Lefcourt, Gollancz, pounds 9.99

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The Independent Culture
'It occurs to me, as I sit here naked watching the moon . . . illuminate the beige Ford Taurus in which two men with guns sit watching my house, that only a year ago my life was a great deal simpler. For one thing, I was not sleeping with the Princess of Wales.' So proud is Peter Lefcourt of the dazzling opening paragraph that he repeats it in its entirety on the dust cover. At least it saves the bookshop browser the disappointment of reading on. Lefcourt is neither deft nor audacious enough to take off from his title page; he seems incapable of investing his brilliant concept - screenwriter rescues Princess and saves her with a dose of everyday life, McDonald's, bowling and sex on the carpet - with the chaotic edge which would have lifted it above the one-liner. In Martin Amis or Tom Wolfe's hands this plot would have made a blistering novel; in Peter Lefcourt's it makes a great cover.