Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn .

This 242 page book is about a girl who goes missing in a shopping centre in 1984, and the people who try to discover what happened to her twenty years later. What Was Lost won the First Novel Award at the 2007 Costa Book Awards, and was short-listed for the overall Costa Book of the Year Award. I do not know how it won this award and I am not surprised that What Was Lost was rejected by 20 agents and publishers before being accepted for publication by Tindal Street Press, a small Birmingham publisher. I vote this novel a MISS.

This story is moody and dark, with very little to praise. I found this book weak, dreary, poor and a lightweight. There is no bite to this story. The ending was a silly disappointment, just like this whole book. It is not a thrilling read and I shall not be buying another of Catherine's books if ever she writes and manages to publish another one.

So below I have typed the best bits of this novel, so that you do not have to waste up to £8.99 and the time to read the whole book.

From page 19...

Thursday 26th April
Tall white male seen today hiding in tropical shrubbery area in central atrium. Appeared to be talking to a leaf. No criminal motive apparent so Mickey and I moved away quickly.

From page 161...

Mystery Shopper

Restaurant code 177. A147 intersection Halesowen branch

Full report based on attached check sheets. I visited the restaurant at approximately 1.30 pm. midweek. On entering the restaurant a smiling member of staff greeted and seated me within 17 seconds. The member of staff gave me a menu and assured me that she would return in 'a couple of minutes' to take my drinks order. 76 seconds later the same waitress returned and took my order for a double Scotch. At this stage she also checked if I was ready to order my food, or if I needed a few more minutes. I chose to order directly. The waitress told me about the day's specials in an informed and enthusiastic manner. I opted for a menu item and the waitress ensured I was fully appraised of all possible side dishes to accompany the main dish. She further ensured that her tits were in my face throughout this exchange. The waitress returned with the meal 7 minutes and 35 seconds later. She placed the meal correctly, offered me a wide range of condiments, smiled and instructed me to enjoy my meal. 2 minutes and 50 seconds later she returned to ask if everything was all right with the meal. I informed her that the meal was satisfactory but my cock was really aching and stiff, and requested that she take a look at it. A member of door security was at the table within 27 seconds and I was escorted off the premises in a further 15 seconds. No member of staff expressed hope that they would see me again. Customer service score: 95%.

...And that, in my opinion is the best that this poor novel has to offer the reader.

Next book please!
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