Open Arms Hardcover – 7 Sep 2017
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An explosive political drama - from Whitehall to the slums of Mumbai - by Vince Cable, a politician with first-hand knowledge of the intrigues and machinations he writes about.
About the Author
Vince Cable is MP for Twickenham, and also served from 1997-2015. He was the Liberal Democrat's chief economic spokesperson from 2003-2010, having previously served as Chief Economist for Shell from 1995-1997. He was Business Secretary under the Coalition Government from 2010-2015. Cable has published three non-fiction books with Atlantic to critical acclaim: Free Radical, The Storm, and After the Storm. Open Arms is his debut novel.
Top customer reviews
After all Vince Cable is leader of the Liberal Democrats and aspires to be our next Prime Minister.
He has the insight then to lead us through the corridors of would-be power that pervade the Palace of Westminster
As he does he gives us entry into the world of defence contracts arms deals and international power manoeuvring that is Whitehall.
Add a wickedly simmering illicit love and we should have the elements of an explosive thriller that the dust cover trumpets.
Open arms promises intrigue but fails in its intent.
It does focus on real issues of national concern: home grown jidahists, concern for homeland security and media intrusion and post-Brexit strategiies -- events are circa 2019 -- yer It lacks overall pace and urgency and page-turning appeal
I struggled to find a true narrative direction or firm plot line.
Mr Cable's political discourse can be excruciatingly precise and analytical and this predilection seeps into his narrative style.
The result is a heavy read; more mind games and introspection than compelling reading.
And though his use of English and his fluency and intonation is of the highest order it is almost akin to that of the academia.
Like many writers he constructs sentences that flow into paragraphs that if spoken aloud would have the tongue tripping
There is often no natural dialogue flow.
People just don't think or talk in 30-word sentences.
It is perhaps best that Mr Cable returns to the green benches of the Commons and directs his undoubted talents to matters more of the politic.
The tale is complicated and full of dramatic moments. The novel is about a glamorous, of course, new female MP who gets government office while still learning how to navigate the House of Commons and its quaint rules.
Before long she takes a trade delegation to India. Here she falls in love with India's key weapons manufacturer. The focus now alternates between Delhi's slums and Whitehall. It is all about the obstacles and difficulties faced when trying to finalise a trade deal. The spotlight is on union leaders, bankers and politicians.
The plot takes credibility to the margins. The media would have had a field day over the affair. Frankly it is drab and rather mundane. The plot, if one can call it that, might have worked as non-fiction but as a novel it never reverberates or comes to life. I don't know how long Cable took to write it but it smacks of hurried writing. It may be fiction but it is hardly nove.
Cable should stick to writing non-fiction. His new role as leader of the Lib Dems shouldn't prove too onerous.
From a personal enjoyment perspective this was only a 3 Star read however I felt compelled to give an extra star for the craftmanship in dealing with this complex tale and bringing it to a logical conclusion.
From the initial description of the book and the front cover you may think that this book centres strongly on the female protagonist of the novel, Kate Thompson. However, in my opinion, the main thrust of the book deals with the Indian side of the story particularly Deepak Parrikar and his family. There is also quite a lot of attention given to Steve Grant and Shaida Khan and family at the UK end of the deal. So much so that it appears that the character of Kate has only been picked on for the attract to try and woo a certain sub-set of readers in. Whilst she is an integral part of the story she is not the main focus.
Set in the near future of 2019 Open Arms is set in a post-Brexit Britain and deals with the necessity for opening up new export links with emerging nations, particularly India. In particular it examines the putative deal in defensive weapons technology between Parrikar Aviation and the British based Pulsar. Along the way the book deals with racial tension between India and Pakistan, the internecine warfare of the British Political System, religious and racial hatred in Britain.
I have been careful in this review not to discuss any specific plot points as it would be nigh on impossible to do so without introducing spoilers to the mix.
I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.
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