Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Taking the P***

Today in the Guardian (can't find a link, I'm afraid), sly comment on the issue of fact versus fiction from my favourite literary satirist, John Crace. Here's an extract from his Digested Read of Robert Harris's The Ghost with its ghostwriter narrator:
Lang bounced into the room, closely followed by Amelia Bly, the PA who had nothing at all to do with Anji Hunter. It was immediately obvious they were having an affair. I made a mental note not to include any references to it in the book, though I couldn't resist a private chuckle at how pissed off the Blairs and Hunter would be when they read this roman a clef.
The great thing about Crace for me, though, is the way he pinpoints those authorial wobbles:
Ruth slipped between the sheets next to me. ...we kissed passionately. /'We shouldn't have done that,' I said next morning, 'because it's done nothing to further the plot.'
He can sniff them out in even the greatest writers, when surprisingly few critics can.
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