Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"The writing...of an enthusiastic, over-informed 11-year-old"

Last spring Nick Lezard reviewed Jeffrey Archer's False Impression in the Scotsman.

The first paragraph of the review:
THIS, I CONFESS, IS THE first novel by Jeffrey Archer I have ever read. To make my position clear, I have loathed everything about the man: his politics, his mendacity, even his voice, but always took it on trust that he was a lousy writer.
And it only gets nastier, including the line that I chose for this post's title.

Yet the most curious revelation comes late, in the 11th of the twelve paragraphs of the review: "once the book gets going it really is quite enjoyable."

Click here to read the entire review.

If you know little of Archer's background and worry that the reviewer is being unjustifiably unkind, click here to check out the Guardian's brief profile of Archer. It includes this passage under the heading "Other jobs":

Businessman (who made and lost a fortune, then, with Not A Penny More..., made another), politician, pop-art collector, erstwhile would-be Mayor of London, perjurer, convict.

--Marshal Zeringue