The Afterparty, By Leo Benedictus

Not enough story to tell – how very postmodern

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How do you satirise the vapid, shallow world of celebrity? By showing it as, er, vapid and shallow, apparently.

There's really not much else you can do. And so, lack of surprise means a rather laborious meander through the chapters of aspiring writer William Mendez's book-within-a-book, which purports to expose the death of a hellraiser (deliberately echoing a case involving Pete Doherty). There's not really enough plot here, and so the novel switches into postmodern mode halfway through, as Mendez asks Leo Benedictus to stand in for him at a meeting with his publishers from whom he wants to hide his identity, and so postmodernly on.