Sunday, 17 June 2012

Lad Lit Book Reviews: The Ghost by Robert Harris

Books For Men Book Reviews! The Ghost by Robert Harris
I can’t help but think I should have enjoyed this book more than I did. Don’t get me wrong – it was a good read, but there were one or two things that hold me back from giving this higher praise than I’m about to.

What I’m about to reveal is a bit of a spoiler. It won’t necessarily ruin you reading the book, but I need to reveal it in order to explain my... discomfort whilst reading this book. So here we go...

For some reason the name of the fictional narrator of The Ghost is never revealed, so let’s just call him Bob. When Bob – a professional ghostwriter – is asked to step in to finish writing the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, he jumps at the chance and jets off to the American resort of Martha's Vineyard.

Lang – who is clearly based on ex-PM Tony Blair (Harris even wrote Blair’s memoirs) – is having a bit of a hard time as he is accused of war crimes. On top of all this, Lang's original ghostwriter has mysteriously died so he is not exactly the happiest of bunnies. In amongst all this we meet Lang’s wife, Ruth. Immediately the face of Cherie Blair sprung to mind, which is not something anyone should have to go through.

So here comes the spoiler – Bob ends up sleeping with Ruth/Cherie, which means that midway through the book I had to endure the image of Cherie Blair bumping uglies. And the fact that when reading a book you put yourself into the shoes of the main character meant that image was of me bumping uglies with Ruth/Cherie.

Now can you see my problem?!

Okay, so this is a piss-poor excuse to give for not giving the book a better review, especially when I actually thought it was fairly decent at the end of the day, so I’ll try to put that sorry incident to one side. On the whole this is a pretty decent read. There are some nice twists and turns, but on the whole I found some parts to be quite slow. And the fact we are basically dealing with a couple like the Blairs who are not about to win any popularity contests anytime soon, doesn’t exactly help you endear to them either.

In terms of the plot, Bob starts to grow suspicious of the death of his predecessor, especially when he finds himself surrounded by a few unsavoury yet very powerful people. But try as he might, Bob can’t walk away and as he delves deeper into the mystery, things begin to unravel that will bring him closer to the truth and danger.

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