Sunday, 1 February 2009

Review – m@tt beaumont – “e.”

Publ: 2000 Harper Collins
Own copy
ISBN: 0 00 710068 X
Genre: Humour
Pages: 342p
Recommended by a blogger but cannot recall who.
Rating: ***** ****

What led you to pick up this book?
Recommended by a blogger so I bought it second-hand.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
The subtitle is a novel of ‘liars, lunch and lost knickers’. As an advertising agency seeks a major contract everyone within it has their own agenda – from getting into someone else’s knickers to pinching their desk. Half the cast end up in Mauritius shooting a film of topless models for the LOVE channel amidst exploding implants and typhoons while the other half beaver away trying to avoid being the next one to go and spend more time with their family as the Chief Executive’s e-mails mysteriously end up going to his fellow CEO in the Finnish office. A fun exercise would be to guess at the beginning who is still likely to be employed by the end of the book!

What did you think of the characters?
All office life is here – allegedly. In practice it’s not like any office I’ve ever worked in apart from the back-stabbing and the panics. Nevertheless some of the characters were instantly recognisable like the admin officer who saw it as his job to advise staff how to walk across the carpet tiles so as to prolong their life, the chap who couldn’t resist mentioning his title in every communication and the secretary who saw any job other than mollycoddling her boss as beneath her.

What did you think about the style?
The book is entirely in the form of e-mails. It was difficult to get into at first but after a chapter or so it became more familiar and by the middle of the book it was fairly easy to read. To some extent the style is the book.

What did you like most about the book?
The intricacies of the plot, the clever humour and, once I got used to it, the e-mail style.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
I do not like it when two characters have names beginning with the same letter. This may seem strange but folk who read rather quickly, as I tend to do, can find it difficult to cope with. One sees the first letter of the name and doesn’t properly read the rest of it. When two characters have the same initial letter it takes a while to discipline oneself to actually read the name.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.


Would I recommend it?

Difficult. I thoroughly enjoyed it once I got into it but I’m not sure everyone would consider it worthwhile.

“is a copywriter and has been fired by some of London's leading ad agencies. He lives in North London with his wife and children”.

1 comment:

  1. It may have been recommended by someone else (it's a good book so why not) but I think it was in my selection of books in the "Book of Books" you got for your Birthday last year.

    Glad you enjoyed it. And don't forget there is a short sequel about the Miller Shanks Christmas Party, which is let down only by not being long enough.


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