Nick Clegg on debut novel: ‘It is cringingly, toe-curlingly, puce-embarrassingly, pretentious adolescent tripe’

The Deputy Prime Minister has offered a damning review of his debut novel.

If ever there was a reason to be pleased that Nick Clegg entered politics, rather than another profession, this could well be it.

While most politicians move into literature by writing a memoir, the Deputy Prime Minister tried his hand at fiction while he was a teenager. And according to the man himself, it’s every bit as terrible as his critics might imagine.

Inspired by the cerebral work of the late great Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the tome was thankfully (and by the sounds of it, understandably) never published – and Clegg hopes it stays that way.

“I wrote a novel that will never, ever see the light of day,” he told Shortlist.

“I found it recently. It is such cringingly, toe-curlingly, puce-embarrassingly, pretentious adolescent tripe. I’d just read The Autumn Of The Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which has no punctuation, so I went pure no-punctuation as well.”

The Deputy Prime Minister attributes the failings of his book to its subject.

“It was about the tortured memories of an old man,” he said. “I just don’t think that’s the right subject for an anguished teenager to write about.”

Elswhere in the interview, he goes onto discuss Russell Brand’s recent comments which encouraged the public not to vote – an age-old sentiment Clegg understands, but doesn't support.

“There are always people who say, ‘Everything’s pants, all politicians are the same, don’t vote, let’s have a revolution.’ I understand the emotion sometimes, I share their frustration,” he said.

“But the idea that you can achieve something with a message of despair… it’s self-defeating. It would be incomprehensible to the people in the past that fought for our right to vote. Dare I say it, I've done a lot more than Russell Brand to try to change politics.”

Unfortunately, he isn't brave enough to be grilled by Brand just yet.

“No doubt he’d make mincemeat of me, so I won’t be rushing to do that,” he said.

Read more: Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage clash over immigration
Clegg under pressure to dilute coalition welfare reforms
Clegg dismisses David Cameron's EU strategy
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss