Charlie Hill - Books (3 stars)

Literary satire is an entertaining, pacy read

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Charlie Hill - Books

(Tindal Street Press)

They say bad art can rot the brain, and in his second novel Charlie Hill takes this idea literally, introducing us to the monstrously middle-of-the-road Gary Sayles, an author whose writing is so mediocre it is causing the electrical signals that pass through his readers’ brain cells to weaken and fail.

Leading the fight against this threat are alcoholic bookseller Richard Anger and tightly wound professor of neurology Lauren Furrows. As the bodies start to pile up, they must find a way to change people’s reading habits before the release of Sayles’ latest novel leads to catastrophe.

Hill’s literary satire has a lot to say on the state of the publishing industry and the power of words, and even if he does labour his points at times, the story is told with such verve and wit that it rarely feels preachy. The comic extremes of the plot are anchored by credible central characters and a tone that stays on the right side of wacky. Books is an entertaining, pacy read that should not have any adverse effects on your own brain.

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