3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The kind of escapist novel that I really wanted to escape from.,
This review is from: Back to Bologna (Aurelio Zen Mystery) (Paperback)
This is the last of the Zen novels that I shall bother to read and here is what I think about them:
Dibdin has created a main character who is neither credible nor likable nor interesting. He may have mitigated this problem in the early novels of the series by convoluted plotting, but eventually he ran out of ideas, or got bored, and then utilised the rather lazy smokescreen of (a) a kaleidoscope of geographical settings (all of which were ideal holiday destinations for his English readers) and (b) silly jokes and increasingly farcical plots.
Back to Bologna is a great example of this. The plot is ridiculous and Zen's participation in it is pretty much peripheral.
What perhaps annoys me most of all is the arrogance and rudeness of the writer who uses a foreign country as a setting for his work for the sole purpose of mocking that country. Really, Mr Dibdin, the only country that an Englishman should be mocking is England. Anything else is a piece of supreme bad manners. The guest should not mock the home of his host.
On page 217 of this book, Dibdin gives an exceedingly thin excuse for the plot of this novel. (Rodolfo's conversation with Ugo about writing a detective novel.) How irritating that he fully recognised that this book is a lame parody and yet still insulted his readers by submitting it to his publisher. Shame on you, Mr Dibdin.