Paperback: The Girl Who Was Going to Die, By Glyn Maxwell
Reyhana is a journalist, writer and researcher specialising in issues surrounding Muslim communities, community cohesion, radicalisation and counter-terrorism policy. Reyhana contributes to the Huffington Post UK and hosts a blog on ‘how to successfully combat extremism.’
Sunday 02 March 2008
At some point Glyn Maxwell's satire on the media and celebrity culture, told entirely in dialogue, must have seemed a good idea. That neither he nor his editor wised up to the sad truth of these poor pages constitutes a steely case of denial indeed.
Susan Mantle is a rather useless London tour guide. Following a terrorist atrocity she is seen crying on a park bench, and images of her are reproduced in the news under the headline "beautiful but crying" so often, she comes to symbolise the mood following the tragedy. She is actually crying because she's interpreted a fortune-teller's advice to mean that she is going to die.
Among the many unflattering things that could be said about this book are two key flaws. Perhaps the first is arguable, but it seems unlikely that any decent news editor would think up a phrase such as "beautiful but crying". The second is more clear cut: the way the story is told through dialogue, with Mantle's voice in roman text and everyone else's in italics, is a confusing, maddening festival of self-indulgence.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
Arts & Ents blogs
The 50 Best Christmas songs: Bells continue to ring for the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'
Stall talk: The arcane rules of chit-chat that take place in the gents'
Paul Walker: Fast and Furious cast release video tribute to late star
Nymphomaniac trailer shown to children at screening of Disney film Frozen
The top gay icons (straight up!)
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Nelson Mandela life story: An unconquerable spirit
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 Nelson Mandela: From 'terrorist' to tea with the Queen
- < Previous
- Next >