Saturday, August 2, 2008

This Charming Man

This Charming Man
Author: Marian Keyes
Publisher: Penguin

The undisputed queen of chick-lit returns with a queen sized novel.

Marian Keyes new book This Charming Man comes in at a colossal 676 pages and tells the story of four women and the one man they all have lusted for.

Paddy de Courcy is Ireland’s answer to Bill Clinton. Sauve, handsome and devilish he is the toast of Irish politics who captivates every women he sets his eyes on.

And breaks their hearts.

Fashion stylist Lola, hard nosed journalist Grace, home maker Marnie and Paddy’s wife to be Alicia, all bear the scares from loving this very charming man and each of these very different women tell the story from their own perspective, starting with the announcement that Paddy – Ireland’s most eligible bachelor – is to marry.

Yes, it’s a long and at times rambling novel that could have done with a strong editing hand and occasionally it feels like a rehash of ideas from some of her previous novels.

But my biggest criticism would be for the character of Lola. A more irritating figure in literature I am yet to come across. I understand that Marian was trying to make her four characters voices ‘distinct’ but the first 100 pages of Lola’s staccato, incomplete sentences and self pitying madness very nearly had me throw the book against the wall (and being such a chunky novel, you can imagine the dent it would have made and the sizable chunk my landlord would have deducted from my bond.)

But that aside, it is also vintage Marian Keyes.

It’s full of the warmth and humour, love and laughter that we have come to expect from Ireland’s premier women’s author, coupled with a layer of dark undertone that focuses on important modern social issues.

1 comment:

Café Chick said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this. I love the character-driven nature of Marian Keye's (and Maeve Binchy's) novels although, sometimes in order to prove a point or 'round out' a group, some characters end up simply being annoying, rather than offering balance.

Thanks for the review. It's another gem on my ever-growing list of books to read.