Originally posted on Amazon UK HERE on 25 May 2014
On Amazon.com HERE
THE NIGHT PORTER is about fortnight in the life of a hotel in a fictional town in the midlands, which is hosting a quartet of authors there to prepare for a literary award ceremony. The strength of this book is in the turns of phrase, the characterisation, the dialogue. I didn't guess the 'secret' until just before it was revealed, and the ending was one of those rare ones that doesn't leave you feeling a little flat.
I think this is a must read for any self published writers, or those published by an 'indie' press. I loved the cynical, bitter character of Julian, the talented, self-published author of literary fiction with a drink and rage problem who is driven to despair by the success of the popular writers with their formulaic offerings. There are many insights into the publishing industry throughout the book, but not to the extent that they would exclude anyone not interested in it.
I bought the paperback, which I would recommend as it's beautifully presented, and includes many footnotes. I have to confess that I didn't read them all as I wanted to get on with the main story, and I felt that some of them could have been included in the main body of the text, but they certainly add to the book. The best one of all was the last one. You know when the credits of a film go up, and lots of funny little outtakes, or other amusing looks at 'what went on afterwards' are shown? Footnote number 81 reminded me of that.
To sum up - very well written, amusing, sweet, interesting, surprising - oh, and the character of yobbo bar manager Martin Sixsmith is a masterpiece!
CARLA by Mark Barry reviewed HERE
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE CITY OF CRIMINALS by Mark Barry reviewed HERE
ULTRA VIOLENCE by Mark Barry reviewed HERE