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|Print List Price:||£8.99|
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House of Dreams Kindle Edition
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But Jacobs writes well; he knows the London scene - both geographically and in its seedy and rackety aspects (nicely contrasted with an idyllic and peaceful rural scene in Sussex as well as with a bleak part of Essex); he knows the trademarks of the gear his men and women wear - it's a thoroughly "with-it" book (at least as far as this not-at-all-with-it octogenarian reviewer can tell.)
However, despite being rather long in the tooth to be able to know whether the to me incredible amount of durg-taking in this novel is current among the generation protrayed, I made the mistake of taking the book to bed with me and finding that it was after 2 a.m. when I had finished it. I enjoyed it and wish the author more success.
1. An intriguing, semi-satirical storyline that convincingly fuses the cult of celebrity, the empty lives of gullible young people and the dark side of a government willing to manipulate, mislead and worse (best not give too much away) to improve its standing with the electorate.
2. Great characterisation, mostly believable and always entertaining.
3. Some sparkling and very amusing dialogue. Callum Jacobs has a keen ear for the vernacular, possibly helped by his day job.
4. A compelling narrative that saw me almost having finished the book by the end of my outbound flight (well, we were going to Ha Noi).
OK, so this probably won't make a Man Booker shortlist, though on reflection, make that point 5. It's an impressive start to his writing career. Let's hope there is more where this came from.
PS On reading an earlier review, it seems that Big Brother is watching you after all...
But I genuinely did think it was a very good book. The plot is imaginative enough to be exciting, but doesn't stray so far from reality that it becomes unbelievable. The reality TV show of the title, "House of Dreams", is not what it first appears, and I really enjoyed the way that its true nature was gradually revealed, bit by bit, as the book progressed.
I'm not much of a novel reader on the whole, and to be honest I'm pretty sure I would never have read this one if it hadn't been written by my brother, but I'm glad I did. Once I'd started, I definitely wanted to keep going.
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