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Quite Ugly One Morning [Paperback]

Christopher Brookmyre
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

3 July 1997

Yeah, yeah, the usual. A crime. A corpse. A killer. Heard it. Except this stiff happens to be a Ponsonby, scion of a venerable Edinburgh medical clan, and the manner of his death speaks of unspeakable things. Why is the body displayed like a slice of beef? How come his hands are digitally challenged? And if it's not the corpse, what is that awful smell?

A post-Thatcherite nightmare of frightening plausibility, QUITE UGLY ONE MORNING is a wickedly entertaining and vivacious thriller, full of acerbic wit, cracking dialogue and villains both reputed and shell-suited.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (3 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349108854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349108858
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full time novelist with the publication of QUITE UGLY ONE MORNING. Since writing A BIG BOY DID IT AND RAN AWAY he and his family decided to move away from Aberdeen and now live near Glasgow.

Product Description


Thrillingly unpleasant (ESQUIRE)

A sharp, funny novel, with strong characters and some smart dialogue (TLS)

A wicked satire...excellent plotting and a goodly amount of acidic one-liners (THE SCOTSMAN)

a great title and a thrillingly unpleasant murder mytery. (ESQUIRE)

Book Description

The novel which launched Christopher Brookmyre on an unsuspecting but overwhelmingy appreciative audience. 'The dialogue is a joy throughout and the plot crackles along with confident gusto and intelligence...an assured debut by a talented writer' THE TIMES

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By R. Fox
I read this recently after a friend had recommended it sometime ago. I can only say I wish I'd read it sooner. This is a great first book, with all the fresh, dynamic offerings of great first novels such as Last Exit To Brooklyn (Selby), The Wasp Factory (Banks), and Less Than Zero (Ellis).
The basic plot is about the truly horrendous murder of a doctor in Edinburgh, the unwitting involvement of an investigative journalist, and the revelation of a somewhat blood-curdling business scam at a local hospital. The humour is thick and fast, the violence is thick and fast, and the main characters are so well shaped you could make an omlette with them. The first ten pages of this book are uncomfortable reading as the police investigate a murder scene brimming with blood, vomit (both from the scene and added to by certain police officers), and human poo. And it doesn't let up from here. However, the humour does salvage the discomfort caused by the murder because the jokes are aplenty and the writing is quality. But I wouldn't recommend this to fans of Inspector Morse or Bergerac.
The only problem I'd have with this book is the simplistic, almost childish attitude towatd 1980s Tory Britan. Don't get me wrong - I don't mind anyone that likes a good Thatcher-bashing - but the air to this is less one of political astuteness and more of basic aggression, good versus evil. As a result, the only politically motivated character in the book, the Tory-loving Stephen Lime, seems to be a thinly veiled charicature of Tory greed rather than a solid, imposing figure. None of the other characters are especially driven by politics, so it makes him stand out a bit too much as more of a political 'Anorak' rather than someone with ministerial prowess. But that's just niggling really. It's still a great book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Ugly One Morning 23 April 2006
"Quite Ugly One Morning" was Christopher Brookmyre's first book and consequently this is the first time we get to meet maverick journalist Jack Parlabane. Not only has Jack just returned to his native Scotland after a very narrow escape from work in America he has moved into a flat where the owner of the flat below, Dr Jeremy Ponsonby has just been discovered murdered in a very bloody and brutal fashion.

After another narrow escape when the police first suspect that Jack may actually be the murderer he meets up with the victim's former wife, a young aesthetician named Sarah Slaughter. Whilst Sarah isn't exactly pining for her murdered ex-husband she does suspect that something is not quite right with the burglary-gone-wrong scenario that the police seem to suspect has caused Jeremy's death. Likewise Jack, ever one to sniff out a story, starts to investigate the background to Jeremy's life and also makes an ally of one of the police detectives, Jenny Dalziel

Meanwhile the management of the NHS trust where Jeremy used to work is definitely up to no good. Trust leader Stephen Lime apart from the shady property deals that he's most keen to keep secret from the outside world he is also associating with a very disturbing looking violent criminal.

As with the other Brookmyre books I've read the style is short and punchy with the flavour ranging from caustic wit to gruesome violence. But the violence it does contain isn't without reason and it's not a blood fest with no direction, indeed almost like a Tarrantino film you forgive it for the bloody bits as they are intelligent and done with more than a little tongue in cheek.

One word of advice though would be to read the books in their published order and not do like me and read them out of order.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly funny hard-boiled mystery 21 Nov 2001
This novel has possibly the funniest first chapter ever written. Read it yourself, I'm not going to spoil it. As for the rest of it, this is an exceptionally well-written first novel, with a mystery that holds up to the end, an interesting political point to make (as with all of Brookmyre's works), told in a voice that pulls one along with intensity. Set in the world of Edinburgh's health care delivery system, it lampoons the frustrations of getting a good doctor when you really need one while giving the reader a wild ride. Leaves us waiting for more.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plus 100 Gold Stars 2 May 2003
By A Customer
I've just finished re-reading this book again and it's as funny now as it was five years ago. While I know it must appeal to just about anyone who as a sense of humour and enjoys a whodunnit, if you are live in Central Scotland, you cannot help but identify with the things this guy says. I've recommended Brookmyre to everyone I know and no-one has done anything other than praise him and then went out and bought all his novels. Read this book and you will know what I mean.
PS The best opening line in a book I've ever come across!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book by a great author. A must read. 19 July 2001
By A Customer
Chrisopher Brookmyre is an exceptional author who brings to life a great character in the form of Jack Parlabane. If you enjoy your crime gritty and your humour black then there is no-one who can touch Brookmyre. He superbly captures the east-meets-west of Scotland rivalry. Further to this the book rips along at a cracking pace to the point that you cannot put the book down. A word of warning though, the language in the book reflects the gritty style. Strong language abounds, though for some who do not have a grasp of Scottish slang there may be some problems undestanding words such as 'keech' and 'jobby'. You can guess as to their meaning via the context of their use which should prove to be more than educational. A must read for all fans of crime and black humour novels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Far paced enjoyable romp. Nothing outstanding, easy writing style, with some fairly obvious characters but overall it kept me interested.
Published 9 days ago by Rikster
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
Having read more recent work by this author I had high expectations and was a rather disappointed. I found the style of writing a little irritating.
Published 2 months ago by Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars A bird in the hand!
I thought this story was hilarious if you can take very dark humour. Journalist, Jack Parlebane stumbles across a botched up murder by Darren a total failure of a Hit-man. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jjuninski
3.0 out of 5 stars A book is a book
A book is a book. It is by the authour as specified. It is a paper back.I might like it? you might not? Judge for yourself!
Published 4 months ago by Froggs
5.0 out of 5 stars Not started it yet.
It looks very nice on my Kindle. I haven't yet got round to reading it though so I can't assist on the literary content.
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Michael F. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Graphic but incredibly funny
From the opening this is disgustingly descriptive. You will never have been able to smell vomit and a large turd just from reading a description as you do here. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Shari
1.0 out of 5 stars Regretted buying
The introduction put me off.I am Scottish but this reminded me of everything I don't like about Scotland.Its anti English and anti Tory. Read more
Published 8 months ago by paul kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted comedy
I was laughing out loud from literally the first sentence. Beautifully crafted comedy. First class.

Natasha Holme
Author of 'Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Natasha Holme
5.0 out of 5 stars What a good read!
This I a fantastically written book and a very good start to the series.

I was recommended to read this by a friend, I've not stopped thanking them!
Published 10 months ago by Basement Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre (his first book to be...
Not finished it yet. so far it's funny and gruesome with quite a lot of bad language but it's all in context. Based in Glasgow. My favourite author at the moment. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Frances Peacock
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