I recently read Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project, which I also reviewed. He uses much the same framework in his debut novel The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau. Here he claims the book’s author is not himself but Raymond Brunet and he is simply translating it, much the same as he claimed the leading authorial voice in His Bloody Project was not Graeme Macrae but the triple murderer, his Scottish ancestor, Roderick Macrae. I’m usually last to work out an anagram on Countdown, but Brunet and Burnet wouldn’t exactly have me scratching my head and searching for a pencil. The difference between the two books is I can’t believe why anyone would bother translating The Disappearance…I got to page 34. Then this reader disappeared.
It got me thinking about why I review books. I like to know how books work and it gets me thinking about how to structure what I’ve found out and present my findings in a couple of hundred words. I also forget very quickly what I’ve read (or written) and blogging is a form of keeping a diary. There’s a degree of narcissism. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me, I’m saying. I’m also wildly enthusiastic about books. I’ve even written one. Here it gets a bit murky. Most of the books I review are wonderful. I’m jealous, but glad they are so good, and want to spread that joy. Not all books are wonderful. So it seems a bit dishonest not to mention, in passing—before moving swiftly—on the few I pick up and quickly put down again.
It’s a competent first 34 pages, but I’ve read better unpublished manuscripts. I could list reasons, but nobody cares much. Have a look, perhaps you may feel differently.