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Chapter and Verse [Hardcover]

Bateman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 April 2003

Writer Ivan Connor is desperate. His publisher has turned down his wonderful new novel, his agent is out of ideas, and the only person to turn up at his latest reading is his mum. He's deeply jealous of the marketable Francesca Brady, a hugely successful author of fat romantic books for fat romantic people, whose expansive hair and bright red lipstick mock him from posters everywhere he goes. He's also living at home since his marriage broke up, and he's just collected the wrong child from school.

But one night Connor stumbles on a route back to the top, via a beautiful model, two deranged psychopaths, a multi-million pound publishing fraud, true love and utter heartbreak...


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; First edition edition (7 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755302443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755302444
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 14.5 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,239,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'He's funny, has a nose for the popular, writes with wit and ease' Mirror 5/4/03 (Mirror)

'Chapter & Verse is a diverting comedy, which gives further plausibility to the hopes of Bateman's publishers to sell him as an Irish Carl Hiaasen...He shows a high talent for farce and a way with comic detail' Guardian 17/5/03 (Guardian)

'Chapter and Verse is a joy to read. An effective satire on publishing, it is bursting with page after page of raw and racy wit, delivered with a dark and often wry humour reminiscent of Irvine Welsh. Bateman's skill is one of enchanting storytelling: he clearly enjoys fleshing out his characters with personality and idiosyncrasies, and this ensures plausibility and reader empathy. It's one of those books you will find difficult to put down, and when you finally do you'll crave more of the same' Leeds Guide 22 April - 7 May 2003 (Leeds Guide)

'Once again, Bateman's dry wit combined with an impressively wild imagination has created a captivating read... CHAPTER AND VERSE is another brilliant, fast-paced novel by Bateman. While you're laughing, you'll be feeling slightly guilty that you're not crying, as his acerbic wit shines off the page. Without a doubt, CHAPTER AND VERSE will be another hit for Colin Bateman' Irish World 11/4/03 (Irish World)

'[Colin Bateman] has matured into a prolific author with a fine line in comedy' Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Journal 22/4/03 (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Journal)

'A joy from start to finish' People magazine, South Africa, 4 June 2004 (People magazine, South Africa)

Book Description

Colin Bateman is the award-winning, bestselling author of DIVORCING JACK and several other acclaimed novels. 'There is more to Bateman than a racy plot. His prose is intelligent as well as aesthetically satisfying, his dialogue toughly funny and tone-perfect' Mail on Sunday.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit too Bateman-like 4 Jun 2004
Format:Hardcover
It is true that when you get acquainted with Colin Bateman's novels, you just cannot stop reading them. His writing is just "ulsterly" funny, even for a Frenchman like me. I really like the sarky tone of his main characters but also their mediocrity in a Northern Irish scenery described with wit and humour.
"Chapter and Verse" is the latest Bateman's book I've read and I must say I've been somewhat disappointed. You find exactly the same ingredients that made the success of the others ("Alcohol and cigarettes" as someone said here); it _is_ funny and pretty enjoyable... But that's also the problem: exactly the same ingredients. It is too much Bateman-like and many of the situations feel like a frustrating "déjà-vu." It's not funny any more when you already guess what's going to happen in the next chapters (or verses, you're right). More than once, I dropped the book with exasperation, thinking "I see you comin', Colin." Ivan Connor is the typical batemian hero, a bit of a loser, likes his drink and cigarettes, struggles with ladies and brushes embarrassing situations aside with (sometimes bad) jokes. It should remind you of previous books if you have read any...
That being said, it won't prevent me from reading other books by him, that's for sure. I still remember with great pleasure all the laughter I had reading Starkey's adventures ("Divorcing Jack", "Turbulent Priests", etc.). And so must my neighbours as well...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype 19 Dec 2004
By booksy
Format:Paperback
The subject matter of Chapter and Verse takes a look at how anything can get published so long as the author's name is big enough or there's enough hype surrounding them. Perhaps Bateman set out to prove his point on a number of levels, because Chapter and Verse is dire. It's the type of book you would suspect a first-time writer would even have trouble finding an agent for, let alone getting published. It's full of corny jokes and the plot is just silly. Plus Ivan, the central character, has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. He starts off as seeming a little misguided but pleasant enough but then degenerates into an obnoxious, selfish and woefully introspective individual - so much so that the reader wonders how anyone could fall in love with him (far less battle to keep him, as happens here). As for Ivan's attitude to the death of someone close to him, it finally renders the character as totally false and thoroughly horrid. Although Bateman makes a few lame attempts to paint Ivan as a lost, confused person these unfortunately fail due to the sheer weight of the character's other vices. On the other hand, Bateman makes a strong point about the state of British publishing, and should quite clearly count himself lucky that he's reached a stage where his name alone can guarantee sales.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Wept with Laughter 13 April 2003
Format:Hardcover
You could hear me up and down the block when this book came in the post. “The new Colin Bateman is here! The new Colin Bateman is here!” I am very good at making a jerk of myself, but I had a particularly good reason that fine day. Colin Bateman is fantastic, and I had his latest book in my hands.
Ivan Connor is a novelist, the ‘heartbeat of a generation’, and a self-described icon of literature. His latest and greatest work, "Chapter and Verse" is done. It is a masterpiece. It is rejected. After eight novels, his publishing company, Winfrey, has decided the financial loosing streak that is Ivan’s literary career must end. At the same time, Francesca Brady, an Ivan-described “hack”, has a career that is in the stratosphere. He’s desperately in love with his ex-wife. He lives with his mommy (the only one to show up at his latest reading). But Ivan drunkenly stumbles upon the answer to all his problems. Give the people what they want. It’s sort of illegal and he sort of has no idea what he’s doing. And he’s definitely in a lot of trouble.
Colin Bateman has a wit beyond compare. Everyone of his protagonists to date gets under my skin and drives me batty. And I adore them all. The plot in this book goes in multiple directions and Bateman manages to keep a tight reign. The jabs at the publishing industry, the oft repeated questions at signings and the mysterious world of authors are all fodder for his acerbic humor. Thank you, Mr. Bateman
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At least as good as the others... 18 Sep 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure why this has received a couple of negative reviews. I have pretty much read all of Colin Bateman's novels and this is on a par with the best of them. The only difference is it is not set in Ireland, nor does it have an Irishman in it. OK, there is not as much quick fire wit, but there is still plenty of good humour. You certainly care about the two central characters, but the style of writing is slightly different to the Dan Starkey novels. This still makes for a hugely enjoyable read. I whole heartedly recommend it!
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