Andrew Manning: I really really want it

Afternoon readers, lunch break time for me, and I thought I would finally get this review written up. I didn’t want to write this review but I’ve decided to give it a go. I have a confession; I didn’t make it half way through this book, but I’ll explain all in the review below. I once got asked what my thoughts were on negative reviews and they are completely necessary. I would never lie to anyone about how I felt about a book because I would hate for someone to go out and buy a book and be utterly disappointed. This is a book that I disliked from page one and I am now going to tell you why.

Andrew Manning is one of celebrity’s back room boys. He’s spent twenty years repackaging and reviving celebrities whose careers have been overshadowed by scandal and is now the very special agent to a stellar list of stars. Andy is a wealthy and powerful man. He knows where the bodies are buried. Don’t fuck with him. Shelley Bright, chart-topping singer, fashion icon and foul-mouthed homophobe wants a divorce from her closeted gay Premier League footballer husband. She calls on Andrew to organise it. Reality TV star Joey Camp’s career goes into free-fall after he launches an expletive-laden attack on The Queen on live television: he needs Andrew to save him. And Janey Jax, international Pop Goddess…well, what she wants is so twisted and bizarre that it shocks even Andrew. And as Andrew’s partner and lover, Johnny, begins a descent into celebrity-induced psychosis and a blackmailing paparazzi appears on the scene, things look set to become even more complicated. With lashings of suicide, murder, drugs, blackmail and general bad behaviour, I REALLY, REALLY WANT IT is a dark, irreverent and no-holds barred take on celebrity-obsessed culture.

As the above paragraph states the book follows a range of different character as they bustle around trying to get to the top, no matter what it takes. Following Andrew Manning an agent who will help you hide almost any scandal for a price, he is helping Shelley Bright to gain a sizeable reward for her impending divorce from her closeted gay husband. Now, I love dark and brooding books with ghastly characters, but there is a limit to what I can stomach. From the very first page the language is shocking; the swear words are blasted out every other word and they are not limited to the stereotypical words used. I’m not going to post them here but using the C word so frequently for me is inexcusable. The author, oddly, apologises for this, saying to the reader maybe they should not be so uptight or easily shocked. I am not easily shocked, I’m a reader, I have read of frightening murders, grisly plotlines and horrifying characters but this doesn’t mean that I am happy to read a book that openly thinks that swearing at the reader every second is okay. I can’t really give you anymore because I don’t want to read any more of this book. The writing is basic and there are grammatical and spelling mistakes from the word go which is always exhausting. I also disliked the way Andrew Manning talks to the reader, it becomes a diary style form, but we are also right in the action. It quickly becomes tedious and feels old-fashioned.

So, honestly I found this book utterly disturbing; the characters although strongly written are twisted with no moral compass, are shallow, cruel, rude and utterly pitiless. You might be wondering how I came to this decision so early on in the book this may explain; at one point the book describes a character that would like to mash up aborted fetuses and eat them as some kind of health kick. When I turned the next page, (page 28) and hit another barrage of C words, I gave up honestly.  What’s most upsetting is that I was so excited about this book; the plot line sounds brilliant but for me it was just too much. The author seemed to be desperate to upset me, and make me feel uncomfortable. I went online to see whether I was the only one to feel this way and it seems I am not. Sometimes a bit of dark humour is brilliant and sometimes it gets too much. Maybe I should have kept reading but scrolling through I found myself feeling more and more dejected. I don’t know how to end this review but this might work; you honestly couldn’t pay me to give it another go.

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2 Comments

  1. September 19, 2014 / 7:10 am

    Don’t worry, some people will read this, but I think the book will be for a niche market which can limit the potential audience. You gave it a go.

  2. September 23, 2014 / 3:00 pm

    I found your post so very interesting–the book doesn’t sound like a fit for me, but the dilemma of reviewing a book you find personally unappealing is one I keep facing.

    While I admire the creativity, humor, and fearlessness of the many (many!) erotica novels sent to me for review, I almost always turn them down because as a reader who doesn’t read them, a writer who doesn’t write them, and a reviewer who doesn’t know what to say about them, I feel I have very little to offer erotica writers who send their books. Except… sometimes the writing is just SO amazing that I break my own rules and go for it anyway.

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