Posted 20 hours ago

Meantime: The gripping debut crime novel from Frankie Boyle

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Read, through the prism of what you know about the author, makes you believe that you are getting insights behind the curtain. There are no sleuthing pensioners or vicars here: our amateur detective/narrator is Felix McAveety, a Glaswegian junkie. Chilton preferred the "clever descriptions" over the "shock-value ones" and said that the novel succeeds as Felix is "transfixing, sharp-witted and slightly horrifying". It contains all the deft wordplay you’d expect and a few well-aimed, drive-by satirical shots at political targets along the way.

It jumps about and trails away, in ebbs and flows, which keep you engaged without having to pay too much attention. The Times named it August's Book of the Month in the thriller genre, with Dugdale praising the "scintillating sentences and perfect lines of dialogue". There is a lot going on in the blurb and it was a perfect indicator because there was a lot going on in the book; in a good way. Although the book is marketed as a crime novel, I’d say it’s more philosophical in nature with the occasional plot point - normally this would irritate me, but his writing is so sharp and interesting that I actually enjoyed the meandering pace.I can say without any doubt that I have never laughed so much in my life reading a book as I did during this, it got to the point where I was still laughing at something pages ago and then as I came across something else it just got silly and I was laughing so much that often I forgot what I was laughing at. There are some genuinely laugh out loud sentences and a couple of decent paragraphs, but it unfortunately doesn’t hold up as a novel.

However, some reviewers criticised the plot as unfocused and that some digressions are excessive or read like Boyle is directly expressing his thoughts. THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER* *Shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year*How do you solve a murder when you don't have a clue? Now if you've ever seen a Frankie Boyle routine or really listened to his very unique and colourful way of describing all manner of things, then you can probably already guess how the storytelling in this book is likely to go.Marina was involved in Alternative Independence, a left-wing movement for Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum. May, Marina's flatmate, tells Felix of her controlling relationship with Malcolm, a Large Hadron Collider conspiracy theorist. On our penchant for military statues: “This was Britain, and if you killed enough foreigners they let you ride a metal horse into the future. Reading the blurb for this book (on multiple occasions) I could not get my head around what it was going to be like.

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