Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Robert Harris – “Ghost”

Publ:- 2007 ISBN:- 9780099527497
Rating: **** 4 stars

A nominee for the Sainsbury's Popular Fiction Award. "After five books set firmly in the past, Robert Harris returns with a contemporary novel that brings the reader face to face with some of the biggest issues of our time — the result is a gripping and genuinely thrilling read." For a while I thought this was going to be a good - but not brilliant - adventure thriller. I should not have underestimated Robert Harris and my experience of his previous - excellent - books should have warned me that there was going to be far more to it than initially met the eye.
It has Harris’s usual fine style of writing but done with the cynical and slightly stale-hearted view of the ghost-writer who tells the tale.
Perhaps the worst thing about this book is that it is so worryingly credible! Even if you are not into spy stories and thrillers this is one that anyone concerned with the issues of the modern world should read.

“New England is basically Old England on steroids – wider roads, bigger woods, ;larger spaces; even the sky seemed huge and glossy.”

“All good books are different but all bad books are exactly the same.”

“’You must have to work hard here,’ I said. ‘to keep it looking so good.’ Duc kept his eyes on the ground. ‘Soil bad. wind bad. Rain bad. Salt bad. Shit.’ After that there didn’t seem much to say on the horticultural front... (A quote for GB!!!!)

“I drained the glass in thirty seconds. White wine. What is the point of it? I picked up the bottle and studied the label. Apparently the vines were grown in soil treated in harmony with the lunar cycle, using manure buried in a cow’s horn and flower heads of yarrow fermented in a stag’s bladder. It sounded like the sort of suspicious activity for which people quite rightly used to be burned as witches.”

“This is the trouble with Internet research, in my experience. The proportion of what’s useful to what’s dross dwindles very quickly and suddenly it’s like searching for something dropped down the back of a sofa and coming up with handfuls of old coins, buttons, fluff an sucked sweets. what’s important is to ask the right question, and somehow I sensed I was getting it wrong.”


1 comment:

  1. I can certainly relate to the soil quotation! I would also go along with the white wine quote £What is the point of it?" Not for the reason given but because it gives me a headache.


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