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The Spoiler Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 10, 2012
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“McAfee skewers the Fourth Estate with an insider’s insight, cutting wit and razor-sharp writing.”
—Alison McCulloch, The New York Times Book Review
“Sparkles with tabloid bravura . . . a dark hyper-comedy.”
“Spirited . . . [McAfee] writes with poise and polish, using her reportorial eye to create a fictional world that feels like a fun-house mirror of journalism from the late ‘90s . . . [that] could not be more timely. . . . McAfee manages to fuse satire and observation together in a potent brew. In doing so, she creates a blackly comic, Waugh-esque portrait of a newspaper . . . peopled with hacks, has-beens, poseurs and some genuine reporters, rabidly ambitious youngsters and weary old-timers, pretentious literary types and gutter-minded twits.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“McAfee . . . highlights the slide of media reporting from serious to scandalous as she crafts a story that catches journalism on the cusp of the electronic age.”
“McAfee’s assured grasp of the journalistic milieu . . . skillfully pillories the journalists’ anxieties about the coming ‘digital dystopia.’”
—The New Yorker
“Enjoyable to read . . . a larkish spirit of farce [and] wicked fun . . . dances the story along.”
“An acid satire of London newspaperdom . . . spiky, vivid, and almost pathologically clever.”
“A sharp, intelligent novel about ‘old’ journalism, ‘new’ journalism and the moral gap between the two . . . McAfee writes with sparkling intelligence and raises serious issues about the relationship between reporting and truth.”
—Kirkus (starred review)
“A dark, sparkly gem of a book: smart, knowing, funny, tragic: Miss Havisham meets Sex and the City. I don’t know how Annalena McAfee pulled off such a balancing act, but I very much hope she goes on writing novels of this quality. A stunner.”
“A witty and entertaining debut about two very different worlds of journalism.”
—Alex Clark, The Guardian
About the Author
ANNALENA MCAFEE was born in London and was educated at Essex University. McAfee has edited a collection of literary profiles, Lives and Works, and is the author of eight children's books. She has been a judge of the Orange Prize for Fiction, the South Bank Show Awards, and the Ben Pimlott Prize for political writing. She lives in London with her husband, the writer Ian McEwan.
Top customer reviews
Anxious to make a mark at a glossy, prestigious magazine supplement, Tamara is determined to dig up some dirt. There is dirt of a sort to be dug. However, the story she breaks is not true and is not significant to Honor Tait. Honor's shame is attached to something she did (or failed to do) as a journalist.
This is a funny serious book. The interplay between journalists (if you can call them that) in the newsroom and the relationship between Honor and Tamara are fascinating.
And Tait's observation that the people currently covering what they see as news combine great ignorance with great confidence seems to me right on the mark.