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Quite Ugly One Morning Paperback – January 9, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (January 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802138616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802138613
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Christopher Brookmyre's wild and wildly funny debut crime novel, Quite Ugly One Morning, which won Britain's First Blood Award, journalist and hedonist Jack Parlabane ("different day... same hangover") investigates the murder of a young, well-to-do citizen of Edinburgh. Crooked cops, guns-for-hire and cheating spouses complicate matters as does Jack's growing affection for the dead man's wife.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

Thrillingly unpleasant ESQUIRE A sharp, funny novel, with strong characters and some smart dialogue TLS A wicked satire...excellent plotting and a goodly amount of acidic one-liners THE SCOTSMAN a great title and a thrillingly unpleasant murder mytery. ESQUIRE --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read Brookmyre in the Fresh Blood 2 anthology, where his story "Bampot Central" had me in stitches (the story is also posted on Brookmyre's website). I then read his book to be publishedin the US, "Not the End of the World," which is a fairly predictable Los Angeles-set thriller, suitable for a long rainy night or airplane, but little else. I thought I'd give him one more chance to wow me with this, his prize-winning first novel.
I have to say, I'm not sure what other reviewers are talking about when they throw out terms like "noir", "pulp", or "Irvine Welsh" when talking about this book. I mean, it is a crime story, and it is set in Edinburgh, and there are a (very) few Scottish idioms, but otherwise it's a pretty mainstream crime novel, heavily laced with humor. It's not noir at all, it's not Irvine Welsh at all (unless you think Irvine Welsh invented black humor), and it's only pulp in the Quentin Tarantino sense, which is to say, hip postmodern neo-pulp. There are some rather gory scenes at the beginning and end, but it's all handled with so much comedy and wisecracking that it's more cartoon show than horrorshow. Think Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiassen rather than Raymond Chandler or James M. Cain.
In any event, the story is a mostly enjoyable tale about corruption within the National Health Trust system. Hero investigative journalist Jack Parlabane literally stumbles into a cover-up murder and then teams up with a female cop and the murder victim's ex-wife to get to the bottom of it all. Fast-paced, with some memorable villains (the shell-suited hitman is a riot), and plenty of digs at Thatcheism and privatization schemes, it's a fun read with plenty of one-liners, but unlikely to make a lasting impression.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By allison wyndham on August 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
feel like an attack of the sniggers? read "quite ugly one morning" by christopher brookmyre, a scot who writes fabulous female characters. *have* to get more of his stuff. the book is peopled with credible characters. the hitman is a shellsuit-wearing doofus from cortina-land with poor impulse control called darren. just enough brains to be dangerous. but only just - priceless. a funky chick called sarah slaughter - a doctor, no less. and more. it's full of constant digs at thatcher and portillo and the national health service. never has a mutilated corpse been so funny. a balm to the soul.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Quite Ugly One Morning opens with quite possibly one of the funniest chapters ever written. This one is not for the faint hearted. It is highly irreverant, witty and downright naughty. A genuinely fast paced novel very much a roller coaster of detective sleuthing and dark comedy. Works well alongside works by Ian Banks and Colin Bateman.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Shaffer on October 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
This was described to me as a disgusting, raucous comic thriller. Even with that description I wasn't ready for the thought of the stickiness/slipperiness of vomit to be put in my head or the overly detailed description of the dump someone took on the mantle!

The gross out factor waned after the first few pages and the story settled in to a more normal comic thriller. Quite Ugly One Morning is about an investigative reporter who is thrown into the middle of a messy murder mystery and with the help of the victims ex wife sets out to solve the mystery.

Even though I enjoyed a lot of the writing and liked the characters, a couple of things bothered me. First is when the victims ex wife is telling Jack (the reporter) about how her husband started gambling over a year before his murder (she wasn't there), he was out with the boys and apparently (as the day went along) he got so drunk that the bookie wouldn't take his bets (so a friend placed some bets for him. She somehow knew the horses he bet on, the odds and a lot of other information that even the victim or his friends probably wouldn't remember. The second thing was that the killer, described as a professional, seemed more like a bumbling idiot who shouldn't walk around without a helmet on. Other than those two (unrealistic) things this was an entertaining read and quite enjoyable.

One day I may read something else by Christopher Brookmyre but I don't see myself jumping one of his books to the top of my to read list anytime soon.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Isabella K. Badenoch on June 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I believe this was Brookmyre's first book and got me hooked on his writing. For American readers, one word of advice: just schlog through the first chapter! He writes in Scottish-accent so the beginning might be difficult to get into, but, please please, persevere, it is worth it. I laughed out loud - laughed so much I started crying! I have passed the book around to several friends and they all loved it. The story is absolutely crazy and amusing. Brookmyre has written several new books, but I still like this one the best. It is so, in your face and you will never read anything like this again!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By rita on September 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Great tale of the underhanded financial coup of a wannabe Portillo (Aaargh), foiled by the collaboration of a pesky non standard threesome compiling lesbian cop, walking-dead-journalist and English born, pseudo Scottish anaesthatist. The brutality of several murders is tempered by humour that makes you splutter; and the tension as the plot thickens, darkens and finally becomes clear is all the better for avoiding the formulaic pitfalls of 'boy meets girl' having any relevance on the scene Brookmyre so diligently sets. Good fun. Worth an evening's dedicated read.
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