29 September 2009

The Mistress (Martine McCutcheon)

Oh god this was horrendous. Not in a good way. I didn't feel the guilty, glorious satisfaction I fully intend to feel when Bai Ling's autobiography Nipples is released. I don't know if she has a publishing deal yet but I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of what I feel is going to be a phantasmagorical masterpiece.

No, no, poor old Martine McCutcheon, on the other hand, has merely produced a truly awful piece of pedestrian drivel, catering to the lowest common denominator. It reads like it was written by a thirteen year old who takes remedial English. I don't blame the thirteen year old. She doesn't know any better. She's never read an entire book before! The fault, Your Honour, lies with the publisher, Pan Macmillan. Who, interestingly enough, decided to release the first chapter of The Mistress online... which can only serve to severely diminish sales. P-Mac? You need a new marketing team.

The heroine Mandy immediately proves herself to be an intelligent, insightful character. Through McCutcheon's masterful grasp of the English language we are introduced to Mandy as she is getting ready for a big night out to celebrate her thirtieth birthday. In the cab on the way to her party she waxes lyrical on London's appeal: "... it felt to Mandy like the most exhilarating city in the world, with the speed of New York, but the history of a Paris or a Rome."

Any Paris, any Rome. Just one of them.

Mandy soon feels a burning sensation on the side of her head when she gets to the party. I was excited, thinking that the candelabra at the Wolseley had set her shining dark mop on fire, but it turns out to be a guy, staring intently at her from across the room. Cue guy meets girl plus obstacles scenario... yadiyadiyada... he's married, with two beautiful boys, sob. I'm welling up. Wait! Mandy can't deal with this right now! Her birthday cake is coming out!

If you want to read the entire chapter, click here. If you want to pre-order The Mistress (the first in a series of three!!!) get in your car, drive to a Thames or a Nile and THROW YOURSELF IN.

Martine, dearest, you cannot write. If you need some cash, may I suggest getting a job as Gordon Brown's secretary? I'm sure he'd have you. He knows you're qualified.

Rating: 2/10.

Remember, 1/10 is saved for books that actually CAUSE HARM. Despite McCutcheon's best efforts, this is no Mein Kampf.
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