Book Review: Amazing Disgrace, by James Hamilton-Paterson
Gerald Samper has come to hate one-armed yachtswoman Millie Cleat with a passion, but needs to ensure her “autobiography” (ghost-written by You Know Who) is a success financially. Meanwhile, and through the sort of social networks one only ever encounters in real life, he is attempting to get a contract to write a book on world-famous conductor Max Christ (rhymes with “wrist”). Oh, and he’s conducting a little “medical research” with the help of Teh Interweb. Ahem. It’s not difficult to drum up names of real people on whom these caricatures might be based, though no doubt details have been changed sufficiently to satisfy the lawyers. Poor Marta has vanished off the face of the earth, and Samper’s loyalty is divided between enjoying his splendid isolation, ensuring a modicum of decency for the apparently abandoned neighbouring property, and seeing off the local estate agent who seems to have kept the keys. The reviews on the back cover claim “unlike most sequels, [this] is even funnier than the first”. I’m not so sure: this is more of a slow-burner than an immediate laugh-out-loud read, though it’s worth the effort and it does build to a satisfying conclusion – but with a twist.

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