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Be My Enemy (Jack Parlabane Book 4) by [Brookmyre, Christopher]
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Be My Enemy (Jack Parlabane Book 4) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in Jack Parlabane (6 Book Series)
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Amazon Review

By now, readers know what to expect from the remarkable Mr Brookmyre, and Be My Enemy has all the hallmarks of his caustic wit. The protagonist of his earlier books, the wry Jack Parlabane, makes a welcome reappearance, faced with an intriguing professional problem: he is to take part in a weekend of "corporate teambuilding" in the comfortable surroundings of a secluded estate. But quite what sort of course is this? Jack's instincts as a no-holds-barred hack, skilled at uncovering unpalatable truths, warn him that something unusual is in the offing--but he's not quite prepared for the extremely dangerous sideshow that is to accompany the corporate makeovers.

This is wonderfully abrasive stuff, full of the scabrous insights that we read Brookmyre for, and it's good to see ideas shoehorned into the satirically biting prose; while never neglecting the crucial task of keeping us turning those pages, Brookmyre makes some sharp points here; one of them being that we all harbour certain fascist tendencies, stifling a desire to put paid to those who go against us. The Highland country house in Be My Enemy functions as a hot house in which certain ideas along these lines can be explored--and Brookmyre's conclusions are just as likely to upset politically correct leftwingers as they are to ruffle the feathers of staunch conservatives. But don't get the idea that this is any kind of a tract: Brookmyre is a man who knows that ideas in novels must always be at the service of the narrative and that's very much the case here. Jack Parlabane's one-liners are as spot-on as ever, and the juggling of violence and black humour is as precisely judged as we expect from this writer. --Barry Forshaw


Ingenious satire. (HEAT)

This is a wickedly funny crime novel. (SUNDAY TIMES)

Satisyingly develops the rare combination of jokes and jolts of which Brookmyre is the finest exponent apart from the American writer Carl Hiaasen. (GUARDIAN)

His dialogue fizzes with energy and wit, and the often gruesome, black humour is unparalleled. (VENUE)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 843 KB
  • Print Length: 397 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316725226
  • Publisher: Abacus (16 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0051H50R0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,905 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this to be laugh out loud funny in places, and any book that can do that has to be worthy of a good review.
It may have a similar plot line to 'One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night', but to me that is a bit like complaining that Bond is always saving the world.
I found this to be the most enjoyable Brookmyre so far. Expect entertainment and enjoyment (the main reasons for reading Mr Brookmyre's work surely?!) rather then an overly complicated murder mystery.
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Format: Paperback
"Be my enemy" or to give it it's proper title, in keeping with the modern parlance parahphrases that characterise Brookmyre's novel's, "F*@! this for a game of soldiers", was a dissapointment. A dissapointment that I read in one sitting from cover to cover, while the clock brought the next day inevitably closer and the sleep seperating what was quickly threatening to become a 48 hour day ever shorter. So how can a novel that holds the attention be anything less than spine tingling and invogorating?
In short maybe it's just my personal tastes, I recently read that Brookmyre disliked the supposedly central character Jack Parlabane and had so previously punished him by sending him to jail and having someone else sleep with his wife, I think he punishes him more here by keeping him on the periphery of this novel. While essentially we have learned the extent of Parlabane's past through previous novels of Brookmyre's (of which I must add I own the complete back catalogue - in some way quantifying my views on this effort), I for one felt this was missing here. Despite the exhaustion of the topic previously I felt it's absence meant that the sardonic and rapier wit elements of Parlabane's character were omitted and so a main stay character was essentially a bit part player. Granted we centered more about Timothy Vale (previously featuring in "One Fine Day..." - I think! Hard core Brookmyre-ites must forgive me if I get this wrong) but this use of an already established character enhanced the interlinking of Brookmyre's books that personally I find incredible - the interjoined world in his head is like his Trumpton, but "Be my enemy" seems like a catalogue of cross references to his previous works rather than anything essentially new.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think that Brookmyre is an excellent author, but he just writes too much - pages and pages about the music playing in the kitchen of the hotel for example. I skipped massive chunks trying to find the start of the storyline - somewhere around page 250. Maybe I am too old for his books?
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Format: Paperback
As Jack Parlabane might say, 'WTF'! Having read, and enjoyed, all Brookmyre's previous novels I was sorely disappointed by this offering, which seemed to epitomise the term 'potboiler'.
The first 200 or so pages are a loose collection of article-length passages better suited to publication on their own, rather than being loosely strung together to form the basis of the novel. Having ploughed through the first half of the book some semblence of plot arrived - although it was so stereotypical and studio-bound that I thought I had strayed into the next series of 24. And as for the 'silly' factor, I find it hard to believe that a writer of Brookmyre's undoubted ability actually sat there and just kept going as things went from silly to absurd - and out the other side!
While I am on a Brookmyreian rant - what was going on with the proof-reading - dike, Arran, poe-faced, etc. Don't we have any standards any more! In the end this lack of care annoyed my partner so much that she gave up the book as a bad idea.
This book read like a camel looks - a thoroughbred designed by committee trying to get all the good ideas they can think of in there somewhere.
I look forward to something much, much better from a writer with such a proved track record.
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By A Customer on 18 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How long have we, Brookmyre's avid fans, waited for this? It has been over a year since the previous novel, so ever since the little introductiion to "be my enemy" first appeared on Amazon (about 4 - 5 months ago, I think) I have been counting down the days to its release. A release date was also put back a few months, so that by the time the little package from amazon arrived just a few days ago, I was very, very excited.
Probably too excited.
It had been over a year since I had last had a new Brookmyre book to read, so I was maybe expecting a bit too much. The previous books had all been fast, witty and full of twists- it is what makes Brookmyre my favourite author. Unfortunately, Be My Enemy just does not have enough of these key ingredients to make it a great story. The action, as usual, is largely kept until the end- which is normally fine- but this time, the first half of the book does feel a bit slow. The action, when it came, was furious- as you would expect. However, there were no major twists in the plot, and as such, the entire thing felt a bit flat. I have read all the other books, but I have to admit I got a bit sick of all the references to them in Be My Enemy. One or two references can improve the story, but some of the earlier chapters came across as an advert for his previous work. I've given a copy to a friend, and he's never heard of Brookmyre; he was totally confused by the continual references to people and events that he had never heard of.
Having said all that, Be My Enemy is still a decent read- its good to see Jack back, and Vale as well. Some of the new characters are vert strong as well- the clumsy old lord and the obnoxious advertising executive give the story some life, but I felt that the book would have benefitted from a better description of the enemy.
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