Customer Review

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shameless bandwagon-hopping, 8 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: When God was a Rabbit (Paperback)
I apologise. I can't honestly explain what possessed me to buy this rubbish. Maybe it was the pretty cover.
You start off by reading about the childhood of a girl and her brother. And that bit's lovely. Her school friend, Jenny Penny is quite literally the only good thing about this book - but then she gets written out somewhere halfway through the beginning and you're left with the boring overly-middle-class characters who all struggle with forced eccentricism.
The worst thing? It's hard to single out just one, the whole thing is just abysmal. But the worst thing would have to be the way the writer has taken every compelling plot device she could think of and stuck them in a literary blender to make a big mess.
Let me explain;
At the start they live next door to a man who has numbers seemingly tattooed on his forearm (the Holocaust bandwagon). It then turns out these numbers are drawn on with biro (the mental illness-bandwagon) and he uses it to get sympathy from the narrating girl so he can touch her inappropriately (the paedophile band-wagon). The whole Jenny Penny character, although being the highlight of the book, was clearly solely included so people of a lower income bracket would not feel entirely excluded as JP is quite clearly a 'pauper' or 'pleb' or whatever you'd like to call them (the trying-ever-so-slightly-to-rip-off-Charles-Dickens-and-failing-miserably band-wagon).
Then they move to another house where the rabbit whose name is God gets flattened by a car - a truly laugh-out-loud moment.
At some point the girl manages to see her older brother engaging in homosexual acts with various men including a man dressed as womble and his own best friend who is later kidnapped by an unnamed terrorist organisation in the middle east (Triple whammy here people - the sexual deviant in the family bandwagon, the voyeurism bandwagon and the 'better keep it current with a healthy dose of terrorism' bandwagon). To make it even more ridiculous, the friend is released by the terrorists minus one of his ears (the Van Gogh bandwagon - this woman clearly could not come up with anything even slightly original).

Then plot then skips forward a number of years where the boring girl has become a boring journalist, and has a boring love life and its all very boring and even more boring than you'd imagine.
But what do you know? This section's set in 2001.
Yes - I saw it coming a mile off as well!
The gay older brother (now openly gay) is living and working as a banker or something equally uninteresting in New York. And yes, you guessed again - he's based in The World Trade Center (the 9/11 bandwagon)
At this point I was truly disgusted. The woman is downright shameless - using the misery of countless millions to make a fast buck.
But it gets worse.
The family spend months trawling hospitals etc hoping the brother could be alive.
And yet again the writer plays the ridiculous card - turns out the brother never went to work that morning at all. He went for a jog instead and while sitting on a park bench completely lost his memory and didn't know who he was - but OF COURSE! You see it in every hospital drama you've ever seen - the inexplicable amnesiac with not even a hint of head trauma.
It's just infuriating how this woman blatantly never underwent a minute of research in her pursuit of easy money.
And then magically in the kitchen, the brother's entire memory comes flooding back to him in a 'Before I Go To Sleep'-esque moment (by the way 'Before I Go To Sleep' was just as rubbish as this book - don't read that one either).
And at this point I thought the book could be salvaged - I really did. Because Jenny Penny re-emerged! YES!
But only briefly - JP rings the boring girl from prison. Or writes to her. Or something. Turns out she's been locked up for murdering a boyfriend and wants the boring girl to look into getting her out. Heaven forbid a prison inmate should think about contacting a lawyer of some kind.
But then just as quickly as she reappeared, JP is rapidly forgotten about, and the book once again descends into mindless middle class banality.
I forget how the book ends. But from that fact alone you can deduce it was as mind-numbingly dull as the rest of the book.
Was so disgusted by this upon finishing it, I couldn't bear to have it in my house another moment, so I gave it to the nearest charity shop - was Cancer Research. One of the few bandwagons she'd managed to resist flinging herself on.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Sep 2013 22:03:44 BDT
Miss J. Doe says:
Awesome review. But she did hop on the cancer bandwagon with Ginger.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2014 16:50:25 GMT
KazzieM says:
I was just about to say the same thing about Ginger.

Good review, and wouldn't it have been a more interesting book if the author hadn't written to stereotype so much too - ie why not have the daughter of the pool winning middle class parents who went to prison instead, or the single eccentric aunt who wasn't a lesbian and then not, and all of the things that "turned out alright in the end" was just predictable and disappointing.
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