- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (23 May 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340831642
- ISBN-13: 978-0340831649
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.6 x 2.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Good News Bad News Paperback – 23 May 2005
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A rollercoaster ride of a book which manages to be both a traditional spy story and a hip tale of friendship and trust... flair and originality. I loved it. (Peter Guttridge, Observer)
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS revitalizes the espionage novel and dishes up a breakneck plot, dizzying twists and two of the most memorable characters in recent suspense fiction. This book is a pure delight! (Jeffery Deaver, author of Garden of Beasts)
Sharp and funny... brilliant... exciting... A dazzling performance, full of surprises, and the only doubt it leaves is what will this most promising author ever do for an encore. (Chicago Tribune)
This exhilarating spy-vs-spy thriller begins with a bang... with its excruciating tension and cynical humor GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS pays a fitting postmodern tribute to le Carre. (Entertainment Weekly)
With echoes of Le Carre and Graham Greene - and a hipness all of its own - Good News, Bad News revitalizes the espionage novel and dishes up a breakneck plot, dizzying twists and two of the most memorable characters in recent suspense fiction. This book is a pure delight! (Jeffery Deaver, author of Garden of Beasts)
Wolstencroft is a nimble entertainer who knows his spycraft and deftly puts it to use in his diverting debut thriller. (New York Daily News)
Wolstencroft takes a spy novel convention - the wrongly accused agent on the run from his own agency - and gives it a clever twist in this quirky, literate book. (Publishers Weekly)
You get the feeling, almost from the first page of GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, that you are reading something special. There are all sorts of influences here, from John le Carre to Monty Python to even John Woo... even if you hate espionage novels, Wolstencroft's style and wit will keep you interested and aboard this wild ride, and scanning the television listings for those episodes of "MI-5" that you missed. (Book Reporter)
A spellbinding read (Good Housekeeping)
A superb first novel that will keep you turning the pages (Herald Sun, Australia)
An exhuberant and satisfying debut (Guardian)
This debut novel is smart and inventive (Booklist)
Wolstencroft deftly deals in the unexpected. (Good Book Guide)
Sardonic and exceedingly funny ... alarmingly credible. (Literary Review)
'Good news: you won't put this down; bad news: you'll be screaming, "Tell me more!"... a rip-roaring journey on board the intelligence underground, leaving the reader scant opportunity to breathe... using a masterful and lucid style.' (Northampton Chronicle & Echo)
The stunning debut novel from the creator of SPOOKS.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Bad news - it’s too fast and becomes confused by its own twists and turns.
Two spies are pitted against one another only to realize they are not the enemies they think they are. Instead they must uncover the truth before it kills them
David Wolstencroft has the pedigree to write a good spy novel, he created the hit BBC drama Spooks. He takes this glossy look at the spy world and adapts it to what can only be described as airport fiction. Each chapter is around 5 pages long so the story moves at a vigorous pace. This in one way is a positive as you do not have the time to reflect on any inconsistencies.
However, this over fast nature is also its downfall. In particular the last part of the book hurtles along at much too fast a pace, twisting and turning like an Austrian Bobsleighed.
With a tighter reign on his imagination and more relaxed approach to storytelling this could have been excellent - instead it is just average.
Additionally the author answers the espionage question, Who are the new enemies in the post cold war period?, without resorting to the terrorist or tired nuclear arsenal plotline. There is also not a mention of a code anywhere, something I find very gratifying in the current literary environment. There is instead, some very nice explanations of new and old tradecraft; interesting and entertaining.
A couple of small quibbles. I felt that the two central characters could have been fleshed out a little better. One of them felt like a caricature of Le Carre's Smiley. Additionally the final denouement felt a little too forced and revolved around a twist too far. At least for my liking.
The author's originality makes him a welcome addition to this genre.
It starts well, with the two reluctant spies (or whatever you want to call them) sitting in a photo booth at a London underground station doing pretty much nothing at all - exactly what they were supposed to be doing there is never explained. Then they each receive a coded message from their superiors telling them, essentially, to kill each other. They decide not to - good decision! - and immediately run for it because, clearly, if they haven't killed each other, then somebody else will be coming along to do the job.
So far so good. But then it all slows down as our heroes meander around East Anglia and the home counties evading assassins, meeting more strange people and doing odd things. The action gets even slower as they hop across the Channel to France and then over to Canada, and the ending, whilst ingenious, frankly makes no sense at all.
As a friend of mine used to say, this book is worth reading, but probably not worth buying to read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Even well after finishing David Wolstencroft's Good News Bad News, I'm not really quite sure what to make of how good or enjoyable this espionage novel by the creator of the TV... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mark Pack
This is a great book and has lots of interesting twists. I has a down to earth feel and is quite beleiveablePublished on 9 Mar. 2013 by Beanojosh
...exhilarating spy-vs-spy thriller?... tribute to le Carre? Dream on. The characters are so irritating I wanted to shoot them myself!Published on 4 Aug. 2010 by Amazon Customer
There's good news and, well, mixed news.
The good news; two guys working in a photolab in the underground. Read more
'Good news, bad news' is a fantastic novel which has you utterly hooked from the word go. The first few chapters have several twists which are totally unexpected and this only... Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2009 by Lesley-anne Murray
When I started `Good News, Bad News,' I really couldn't understand why the other reviewers had disliked it so much. Read morePublished on 12 Oct. 2008 by Sarah Durston
I've never seen the TV programme that the author had written, so I was not entirely sure what sort of style or genre I was letting myself in for. Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2007 by BR
This book at first seems to be one that wiil be an all nighter! Think again. I certainly feel cheated at reading it all hopeing that something interesting was going to happen. Read morePublished on 8 May 2006 by Khalil Akbar