25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great story, and hard to put down!
Julian Clary, welcome back! Devil in Disguise is a terrific story about Molly and Simon, and their journey from how they came to be friends, the events leading to their big fall out, and the rest I won't spoil for you. The story starts to gain momentum and takes shape with the introduction of Lilia Delvard, an eccentric landlady whose fame and star quality has long gone...
Published on 14 May 2009 by Natalie Hansen
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as it could have been
I gave this only 3* rather than 4* as, while it was a rollicking good yarn, one does have to suspend disbelief to breaking point and beyond in order to complete the book. There are aspects (mainly of characterisation, but also of plot) that could have been dealt with more subtly and/or sensitively but, that said, the story and the characters were rounded enough to engage...
Published 18 months ago by Book Worm
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great story, and hard to put down!,
Even though there are characters that are somewhat grotesque in their own unique way, you can't help but feel empathy, anger or even pity for them. This novel really does show off JC's talent for making very different characters feel realistic and very 3-Dimensional, as well as his flair for storytelling.
The style of the novel is definately not as much sleaze-fest, or as in-your-face when it comes to sex compared to his previous work, as he is writing through they eyes of 2 very different people. However, this still retains his deliciously wicked sense of humour, and delivery of observations, no matter how subtle - He even manages to send himself up a little, which is a very nice touch!
Although this is a huge improvement on his first novel, and you can tell a lot more thought has gone into this - it doesn't feel quite there yet - there a couple of things that just need that little bit of tuning, in my opinion. If, like me, you read the synopsis just to know what you are buying, it almost gives the entire plot away (okay, the first 2 parts)! Unfortunately, like in Murder Most Fab, the final part of the story and conclusion, although satisfying, feels rushed - it could have been executed a little better.
That said, the above points do not take much enjoyment away from the novel - I was reading this until half 3 in the morning last night - I couldn't put it down until I had finished. I had to have my curiosity sated as to what price would anyone put on fame and success, and after all is said and done, what price can friends place on their own self redemption?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Julian Clary in Disguise ?,
This review is from: Devil in Disguise (Paperback)Right from offset of this novel the voice is distinctly Julian Clary (and let's face it, that is probably what attracted most people to this book) and he, surprisingly, manages to set up an interesting story - when he gets away from the camp nonsense and off-putting celebrity name-dropping that is - that draws you further into a mesmerising intricate web weaved by the colourful characters.
Molly is the ultimate bubbly fag-hag and is cherished by the Clary narrative. Simon, her over-sexed homosexual best friend, on the other hand, is not a very sympathetic person at all and gets most of the dry one-liners, and cutting put-downs mostly associated with the man from Sticky Moments. It is very 'telling' how Simon finds himself on the comedy circuit and manages to launch himself into a stage career, based not only on being camp, but mostly by being extremely sarcastic/vile to the general public through the use of a persona, that makes the reader draw an uncomfortable parallel to the author. It brings a strange realization to the fore ; one, of course, likes Julian Clary (or else why buy the book?), but the Simon, who echos the presence of Julian on the page, is utterly revolting.
Thank goodness for the introduction of Lilia. The landlady with ambition, imagination, a rottweiler and an incredibly ruthless streak, whom brings a touch of the Arch-Villainess (a la Alexis Carrington-Colby from Dynasty)to play that really cements your fingers to the pages.
Without wishing to give too much away, it is the 'affair' between Molly's fiance, Daniel, and her BF Simon, which acts as the catalyst bringing about the pivotal actions in Devil in Disguise. We get to discover what happens in the aftermath to Molly - her meteoric (and quite enjoyably unbelievable) rise to fame, Simon - his fight with alcoholism and sex-addiction, and Lilia - her controlling, cruel, yet somehow fabulous behaviour which leads to a satisfyingly dramatic climax. Only Daniel, the one time love of Molly's life, NEVER gets mentioned again, and leaves a loose end that I felt needed tying up, if only to satisfy myself that he went on to suitably regret his dastardly actions.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The story was quite gripping and fast paced - especially with the deliciously devilish Lilia dominating matters - but I must say occasionally the odd flippant remark, quip or comment made by a character would detract from the story, to remind you it was being written by Julian Clary.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good read!!,
What can I say, a magnificent, emotional, bitchy, laugh out loud, tragic story of Molly and Simon and their rather hap hazard relationships, their alter egos: Genita L'Warts and Mia Delvard are incredibly well thought out and multi dimensional characters. I just love this book, it had me reading well into the night and I just could not put it down. Well done Julian, fantastic novel and i'm definitely going to read Murder Most Fab now!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic read,
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner,
Within the first few pages you are sucked into the character's worlds, and that for me is the books major triumph, as Julian is able to create his characters within the space of a few lines, and I'm sure I won't be alone in putting the faces of people I actually know to the people in the book!
The tale is told at a speedy pace, there isn't one page in this book where you think he's just trying to fill pages, in fact it could have done with being a lot longer to cover more of Mia's story, but maybe that's for the future.......
This novel would make a great film, it would be a very English film however, so maybe other territories wouldn't really get a lot of the humour, but it would be a visual treat.
Anyway, whether you want an entertaining easy read with good character development, or just another slice of sleaze Julian Clary style, you won't be disappointed!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, but needs more Clarey.,
Despite it being the story of Simon and Molly, two old friends from uni, I found myself more interested in Lilia Delvard, the landlady. I also found the Genita L'Warts persona a bit tired (if you want a story with real drag queen bite try Dial M for Mascara) and expected more from Julian here as he must have worked with enough larger than life cabaret characters over the years to be able to draw on some genuine inspiration. All that said, I look forward to what Mr Clarey comes up with next. I'd just like to see more of him in his writing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Devilish wit,
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant read,
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!,
I was hooked on this!
I loved the characters,the way it was written, the rudeness of it! I didn't find it a ridiculous stereo typical gay novel of mincing queens, twinks and such like. It had real lovable characters that you can possibly identify with (dependent on your lifestyle) and is the most enjoyable book I have ever read!
It was really hard to put down and I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
I thoroughly loved this Julian.
Please keep your creative juices flowing and creating diamonds like this to add some sparkle to my otherwise dull and mundane life!
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab fab fab,
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Devil in Disguise by Julian Clary (Paperback - 10 Jun 2010)