Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sam Bourne - a righteous man?

Belatedly spotted this in the Observer about the Richard and Judy effect.

"Three of the pair's six 'Summer Reads', the recommendations that Richard Madeley and his wife Judy Finnigan discuss on their Channel 4 programme, have taken the top three places in this week's top 50 book bestsellers. Such a dominance linked to one programme is unheard of in this country.

Victoria Hislop's The Island; The Righteous Men by Sam Bourne, the nom de plume of Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland; and Dorothy Koomson's My Best Friend's Girl, have claimed the top three positions in the chart."

and further down :

"Freedland's book shot to success in the charts after Madeley labelled the thriller 'better written and a better story' than Dan Brown's worldwide smash The Da Vinci Code, and the columnist's novel has now sold some 115,000 copies."

Who'd have thought it would do so well after several less than kind reviews in the press including this from Michael Dibdin in The Times:

"Still, you read on, if only out of morbid curiosity about which bit of kabbalistic hokum you’re expected to swallow next, and since Dan Brown — a name curiously similar to this pseudonym — has done all right, there must be a market for this sort of stuff.

At least really bad writing can be relied upon to throw up those great lines that you don't find anywhere else — like this reflection on the healing issues of a man who has blown his dad’s head apart with a pistol: “Whatever Freud said about Oedipal fantasies, killing one’s own father shook the psyche to its foundations.” How true."


Maxine Clarke said...

Grumpy Old Bookman has had some excellent and amusing posts (some while back) about this author, and book.
I'm not tempted to read it, I have to say.

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

I've been and read GOB's comments.There's even more to the story than I originally thought! Thanks for the tip. Not my kind of book either.

We've had a lot of requests recently (at the library) for Victoria Hislop's book.