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Quite Ugly One Morning Paperback – 3 Jul 1997

108 customer reviews

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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: 13.3 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,152 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

Review

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

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By R. Fox on 22 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rich Milligan on 23 April 2006
Format: Paperback
"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 By C. McCloskey on 6 April 2009
Format: Audio CD
Loved this audiobook. I purchased it because of the reader (David Tennant) and wasn't disappointed. It was a performance, not a read. First, you get all the accents. After all, the accents help distinguish one character from another in a way that isn't necessary when you are reading the book. DT uses a wide range of voices, from high in the register (women) to very low for the men (some grumbling in the cellar). I can't judge on UK regional accents but these were distinct enough that I could tell pseudo home counties (?) English to the tough inner cities accent of the thugs.
Best part of it was the profanity - lots of it, and no punches pulled. I would have glossed over it if I were reading it in a book (OK, character is mad... skip forward) but you couldn't ignore it here.
I haven't read the book so I can't judge on the abridgement, but as a bit of theater it's great - just like a radio play. A lot of fun to listen to on my long commute.
If you are a DT fan, this is a must-buy.
It was unexpectedly funny, so now I have to look for more (print) books by this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Jaffee (auntillie@aol.com) on 21 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
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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