Through world wars and civil strife, the Bangor Express has never missed an issue, but now it is losing money, and Rob Cullen has absolutely no idea that he's the man to save it.
It's been a long time since Rob had a real story to get his teeth into...just as well then that he can rely on the Express crew to back him up. They're like a family. A dysfunctional, highly unpopular and poverty-stricken family.
©2016 Colin Bateman (P)2016 W F Howes Ltd
"He just seems to get better and better." (Ian Rankin)
"Genuinely hilarious...exciting, exhilarating, a whirlwind of invention. The perfect summer read." (Benedict Cumberbatch on The Mystery Man)
"Comic thrillers that are actually comic and thrilling." (Daily Telegraph)
This book is terribly written. Structurally, it hangs together loosely: more a heap of poorly linked short stories than a novel. The dialogue is clunky and stilted. It is riddled with cliched exchanges and predictable attempts at humour. Although I struggled through the entire book, waiting for a spark that never arrived, I found the whole experience rather embarrassing for the author. Having read most of CB's other work, I was severely disappointed with this latest effort. My advice is not to bother.
You didn't really feel like you were listening to a single book, it was almost as if there were lots of ideas merging, not into short stories exactly, but a disjointed tale, if that makes sense.
A new editor joins the Bangor Express, a wee, local paper that doesn't live up to his previous job, the broadsheet The Guardian. He learns to love all the characters and maybe even fancy the young female reporter.
"Hmmm. . . A Story that Isn't?"
I love a good story about journalists crusading to right wrongs and editors that break the rules to publish the real news of the day. In part, that is what kept me going with this one, but in the end, I failed to find much to hold up as praise worthy -- although it did have a couple of crusading journalists.
This entire book is somewhat of a series of vignettes -- a newspaper dying on the vine, reporters tracking down information on an event, then switching to the business side of the newspaper world, then back to another reporter on the trail of something juicy and so forth. Sometimes a bit confusing, sometimes quite interesting, sometimes, pretty dull. But I did complete the book -- and have no hard feelings about having spent my credit on it. This one isn't a big winner for me -- and won't be something I listen to again.
There's a lot going on in this book, but no real plot. Nothing to sink your teeth into. I find it a bit confusing because it keeps switching back and forth from one character to another with no sensible reason. Also, the narrator, while decent, has no discernible change in voice or cadence between characters, which may contribute to my confusion. Give it a pass. I'm planning on sticking through because I've gotten more than half way, but I know I should stop wasting my time as I would bet it won't get any better at this point.
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