Glyn Maxwell - The Girl Who was Going to Die (4 stars)

Glyn Maxwell - The Girl Who was Going to Die

(Jonathan Cape)


It’s no fun being told that you are soon to pop your clogs, as this compelling novel’s main protagonist Susan Mantle finds out following a visit to a mysterious fortune teller. The news triggers a bizarre chain of events peppered with biting black humour as Susan kicks against reality TV ridiculousness and the fame game, resulting in a searing indictment of modern culture which attempts to expose the shallow, hysteria-filled world we now inhabit. She is a hugely likeable character, drawing us in from the start, and her interaction with such celebrity-obsessed peers as ‘best friend’ Miranda Kaye and ‘queen of reality’ Cassidy Plume is both funny and thought-provoking.

Glyn Maxwell has written in many genres over the years, but he is perhaps best-known for his drama and poetry, and it shows in The Girl Who was Going to Die; the dialogue-driven prose is linguistically pioneering and distinctive, keeping the reader gripped and entertained throughout while never letting up in its intensity.

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