A Snowball in Hell by Christopher Brookmyre was recommended to me by someone who thought I’d like it because it was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize.
I am always open to suggestions about modern writers I might enjoy, but as a general rule I rarely read modern novels. So the first chapter of ‘Snowball’ was quite a culture shock. Brookmyre certainly bears no resemblance to Wodehouse!
Snowball is the story of a serial killer who decides to host his own online reality show, in which captured B-List celebrities are ‘bumped off’ according to viewer votes.
Unexpectedly, I found myself enjoying it right to the end. Brookmyre’s style and characters were fascinating and, as I loathe celebrity culture and reality TV, I could even derive grim satisfaction from the sicko plot.
I’m not easily offended, so I would try Brookmyre again, out of curiosity as much as anything else.
3 thoughts on “A snowball in hell”
Reblogged this on Honoria's Bookshelf and commented:
One of my early reviews, posted at my Plumtopia page.
‘as a general rule I rarely read modern novels’
Yes. So many of them are badly written or just plain sordid.
I was similarly recommended a most unpleasant book for similar reasons. After the first chapter I gave it to a friend. The first party protested that it was written by a woman so the things described were alright. As far as I was concerned, I felt that made it worse.
You obviously have a greater toleration than me. I can’t overlook subject matter at the expense of style: it doesn’t matter how amusingly someone writes about the things done to Jews in the 1930s, for example, it’s still distasteful – and fundamentally wrong.
For myself, I think there’s so much real nastiness happening in the world, why would I want to pollute my mind with its fictional equivalent in addition? Surely that’s the very antithesis of P G Wodehouse’s world?
Reading should elevate, not debase.
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Couldn’t agree with you more. People describe Wodehouse’s world as an idyllic, fantasy world. I see it as a benchmark of what we should be searching to create.
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