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4.5 out of 5 stars
Murder Most Fab
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 October 2008
Very very very very funny! I didn't know what to expect when I bought this book and I certainly didn't get what I thought. However it had to be the funniest book I've read for a while. If this is going to be the standard Julian Clary sets then this is a very talented writer. From the very first sentence you have an idea this is going to be an unusual book!

I genuinely didn't want to put it down. I had to read it over 3 nights and wanted to have read it in one go, it was that enjoyable. The character of Johnny Debonair is fabulous, the problem was though, was that I kept picturing Julian Clary himself. Maybe this wasn't a bad thing as he seemed to describe the character very much like himself.

A laugh a minute but with a sad tale underlying about loneliness and how we exclude ourselves from those around us because we chase what we think are our dreams. Fabulous narrative with well formed characters. You really will be able to visualise all of the characters, even the ones you might not like.

Without any experience of a world like this I just let myself settle in the for the ride. Do the same and you shouldn't be disappointed. I look forward to more fiction from Julian Clary.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I don't think it would be too controversial to say that some of those books published by comedians over recent years would not have seen the light of day had the author not already been well-known in another field. Good to see, then, that Julian Clary has a genuine talent for writing and characterisation, even if his original ideas do lose a little momentum as the book progresses.
There are times when the comedian's instinct gets the better of him and he seems desperate to jemmy in a one-liner and the voice so familiar from stage and TV is ever-present, but I think there is another layer to this piece, with something quite powerful being said, in amongst the light-heartedly ridiculous plot, about the nature of celebrity and the havoc it plays with trust and relationships. As in many first novels, there is much of Julian Clary in the character of Johnny Debonair, but the enjoyable, good-natured fun of the whole makes that excusable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I also read this in one sitting, and found myself thoroughly involved until fairly near the end when the situation became so impossibly contrived that I couldn't believe it with even the tiniest part of my mind. The whole tone of the story changed very cleverly but I didn't think the writing always reflected this at the end. It didn't need to be funny all the time. I became tired of the little comparisons to people, eg the Gyles Brandreth aside, particularly those at the end of the book which were an irritating distraction when the story should have been enough to keep the attention.

I liked the main character, Johnny Debonair, though I thought he was a bit dim and far too self-obsessed. Catherine gave out signals from the beginning about her character, so her later part in his life came as no surprise. To be honest, none of the characters was entirely believable, but then this was fiction! I particularly liked his elderly friends, who did ring truer than the others.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who is uneasy with reading about homosexuality or the sex act in general. Mr Clary certainly isn't coy about anything, nor is Johnny D!

Julian Clary certainly has a way with words and I look forward to his next novel with anticipation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2009
Okay, okay, maybe the cover might make you want to run a mile, but please, please PLEASE do not hold it against Murder Most Fab (come on, what do you expect when the author is one of the most flamboyant personalities on TV?!)

Murder Most Fab is a very pleasant suprise - considering what often is produced when a comedian meets a keyboard - But the first chapter really does set the tone throughout the book. It's not one to let your granny idly flick through! While reading the narratives I couldn't help but hear Julian Clary's voice in my head, and all that is missing is for Fanny the Wonderdog to glare at me while I'm reading to myself on the train.

The character of Johnny Debonair is very likeable, which does take some skill when you consider his actions, somewhat self-pitying nature and, ultimately, the choices he makes (after much cajoling initially from the Lady Macbeth-esque Catherine). One thing that did start to drive me up the wall was the contant reminders of how charming, good looking, well endowed etc. Johnny describes himself. Is it vanity and conceit on the character's part? I don't know, but the characters formed by observations made and their nuances made them seem all the more lifelike. Everybody knows someone like Catherine, whether they would like to admit it or not!

In a nutshell, this is a very enjoyable read, very flawed, but still a good effort. I hope Julian Clary would consider writing again, and when he does, I'll be one of the first to find out whether he has improved. 3 1/2 stars (but seeing as I can't do that here, the book warrants a 4 more than a 3...)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
To enjoy the book you must have an open mind,but if
you are looking at it now, you must have one...so
read on.
I wouldn't have thought Julian could have written such a
well plotted book.(Not saying he isn't up to it,
just didn't know he had such a clever side as he has!!)
It tells of Johnny's rise from living with his mother,
to going to stage school, then turning tricks as one
may say. I found the book very naughty, and very funny.
Johnny isn't shy about telling you of his attributes.
When the murders start happening, well it's so natural
and l found myself knowing what he had to do.
The end? Unpredictable, but truly enjoying.
Would l buy another of his books? Yes no doubt about
it, only next time l will buy it as soon as it comes
out in hardback.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2009
I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened Murder Most Fab. I half expected to hear Julian Clarey's voice in my head as I read, but then didn't, and also didn't find any of the flamboyant comedy that I associate with him. The book was an enjoyable enough romp, but I doubt if this would ever have been published if it hadn't been sent by Mr Clarey's agent.

The story is a showbiz fall from grace tale, populated with some larger than life characters in equally larger than life situations. I never found myself caring about the lead, Johnny Debonair, and tired very quickly of what seemed a constant reminder of his `size' and beauty. I suspect Clarey's second book will have a lot more confidence and, therefore, will have no need for these insecure repetitions.

As a beach read it did exactly what I wanted. It was an undemanding and fun read. It disappointed towards the end, though, seeming a little juvenile and asking too much of my suspension of belief. That said, I have just bought his second book and am looking forward to his continued writing.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2007
I've always had a lot of time for Julian Clary as he's a fabulous entertainer, however I have to admit I never had him down as one with the words really! This book is extremely well written, captivating, fruitful and a very rewarding read!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2009
So... If you know what Julian Clary is like on TV you should have a pretty fair idea what he'd be like in book form, to be honest I bought this book on a whim and I'm glad I did.

Its a while since I read about the life of Johnny Debonair, but that wouldn't and hasn't stopped me from recommending it to friends. In parts it can be a little near the knuckle so I wouldn't tell you to give it to a child but your average teenager wouldn't bat an eyelid.

throughout this book even though it was the story of Johnny Debonair, I couldn't help but think it was another murderous incarnation of Julian Clary. Murder Most Fab is a dark comedy, a romance as well as the story of someone dealing with the stresses and strains of a family member with a fragile mental health.

One of the reviews on amazon for this book by Hambletta-Maud "hamble" I think sums it up very succinctly, although I have to disagree on the cover. Personally I think the cover makes sense with the content of the book. Light bright and not worrying too much about what people think which, Personally I would have said it matched not only the content but also its Author.

"plot: no real holes grammar: no noticeable mistakes prose: well written dialogue: believable the cover: looks dreadful - needs to be done again"

As I said further up in this isn't a book for kids, it has VERY adult theme's and while as I said your average teenager wouldn't bat an eye lid its not just the murders that could be inappropriate, the sometimes graphic description of his 'member' and its 'abilities'. I would say that there are others but to be honest you know what your getting when you pick up a book by Julian Clary, its hardly going to be The Golden Girls crossed with The Last of the Summer Wine

If you don't try to take it too seriously you'll love it, especially with a serial killing rent boy and his prostitute friend bumping people off on their root to stardom and becoming Mr Friday night
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2011
Mmm, what to make of this book? Well, it started good enough - the first third is actually quite funny and pumps along at a fair old pace - but it gets bogged down in the middle and from there trundles to a lame close, although there is a nice (and unexpected) twist at the end.

I guess my problem with `Murder Most Fab' (which I did thoroughly enjoy, let me say that now) is that Clary writes as he talks. In fact, there was numerous text which I could actually hear him saying in my head! This meant that the central character of `Johnny' was a strange combination - a street-smart hustler, but with a rather camp lisp! It didn't quiet gel, which resulted in Johnny never being as menacing or `ruff' as he should have been.

Despite Clary's `near the knuckle' comedy persona, the book is relatively sedate with little to ruffle many feathers and the few graphic parts there are, are well written and never gratuitous.

As said though, the book does go off the boil from about mid-point (along with the humour quota) almost to the point that it feels like two separate books, but it gets back on track for the ending (which is well paced and considered).

I've already highly recommended this book to several friends but was it enough to encourage me to undertake another of Clary's fiction books? Probably not, but that won't stop be encouraging you to give this one a go - enjoy, as no doubt you will.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 March 2008
Very very very very funny! I didn't know what to expect when I bought this book and I certainly didn't get what I thought. However it had to be the funniest book I've read for a while. If this is going to be the standard Julian Clary sets then this is a very talented writer. From the very first sentence you have an idea this is going to be an unusual book!

I genuinely didn't want to put it down. I had to read it over 3 nights and wanted to have read it in one go, it was that enjoyable. The character of Johnny Debonair is fabulous, the problem was though, was that I kept picturing Julian Clary himself. Maybe this wasn't a bad thing as he seemed to describe the character very much like himself.

A laugh a minute but with a sad tale underlying about loneliness and how we exclude ourselves from those around us because we chase what we think are our dreams. Fabulous narrative with well formed characters. You really will be able to visualise all of the characters, even the ones you might not like.

Without any experience of a world like this I just let myself settle in the for the ride. Do the same and you shouldn't be disappointed. I look forward to more fiction from Julian Clary.
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