Is it possible to write a book that hits the bestseller charts in every category? That’s the idea washed up author Titus Jensen and radical poet Eddie X come up with whilst more than a little drunk. In the cold light of day, Titus takes the idea to his editor behind Eddie’s back. The race is on to write the best book in the world…but is Titus really the man to do it?
The breathalyser laptop had me laughing out loud for real. I would say read this book just for those bits; genius! I loved Astra, his editor. She wasn’t convinced Titus could cope but she wanted The Book and gave him a good dose of tough love. I think if you follow any number of publishers and/or authors, there’s plenty in this satire to amuse. There are many stories about writers but probably none that come this close to the truth. It does make me wonder how many books start off as drunken ideas…
The reading out from old books didn’t quite work. I can imagine it being entertaining in person but in the book it is just like a passage from a random book. This caused the pace to drag in places although I think it could work well in audio format with the right narrator. There were other segments that were potentially interesting, such as a lesson in Dali, if you’re interested in Dali. But again, it detracts a little from the plot. I suppose it’s be trying to mirror its fictional counterpart, be as many genres as possible by sneaking in art history and poetry and whatever else. I did like the “cookery” element where he’s trying to work out the four season pizza though and the thriller bits work well.
The title in itself will have people picking up the book to find out more. It may not be the best book in the world but it’s certainly an interesting read for anyone interested in books (that’s us).
You can read a Q+A with Peter Stjernström here. Originally written in Swedish, The Best Book in the World has been translated into English by Rod Bradbury and published by Hesperus Press. It is available to buy now in hardback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
Also reviewed @ Nyx Book Reviews
Shelve next to: The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
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