Tuesday, 31 May 2011

All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye

Christopher Brookmyre

Like with every Brookmyre I've ever read, all I could think of after finishing this was how soon I could get another Brookmyre to read. If I saw a granny reading one in the street within an hour of finishing this, I would have robbed her. These books are drugs.

I think I know why. There's a brutal humour, cleverness and charm in Brookmyre's writing, but there's something else too. A third of the way through All Fun And Games, I faced up to the truth that I was reading a thriller. There. I said it.

I don't tend to read thrillers or crime novels. And maybe it's because my system is so unused to them that when I'm tricked into reading one via a very non-genre example, they hit hard. I'm like a teetotaller who's had his water bottle switched with Vodka.

It's good news, I think. As long as I don't become an alcoholic and only read high-percentage books which get you drunk instantly and straightforwardly. It's good that I have that option, now; sometimes you need it. Brookmyre is my crime/thriller writer, and I can go there whenever I choose.

Which is why it's worrying news that I saw his latest on the New In table at Waterstones yesterday, and it was by 'Chris' not 'Christopher,' and was boasting a 'new direction.' The new direction sounded like it was focusing on the serious-crime side, and forgetting the humour and blistering originality that first got me interested.

I'm ten Brookmyre-novels away from catching up, anyway, so it's a long time before I'll have to explore the new direction. I just hope this isn't a gateway drug situation.

Changes of direction, do you follow them? Do you buy the latest from your favourite author because you like his/her writing, or because you like her/his direction? Or is it the way they dress?

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