The "Yes Minister" comparisons are justified (and there is some brilliant, hilarious political and bureaucratic satire here), but at its heart, this is the story of a hen-pecked, slightly pompous, middle-aged scientist who finds himself caught up in what seems like an impossible project, and of how this project changes his life. In the process, he becomes an unlikely and rather loveable hero, discovers true love for himself, finds himself both a pawn and then a victim of political spin, leaves his brilliantly horrible wife, and learns to believe in the impossible. And he takes the listener with him in the process.
©2007 Paul Torday; (P)2007 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.
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"Good story spoilt by heavy-handed execution"
Even though I thought the story-line in this novel was good and kept me engaged, I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the writing, given all the good reviews. Some of the dialogue was way too implausible and stilted and the satire was very heavy-handed. For example, he had people testifying using language and a level of detail that did not ring true - people speaking spontaneously under pressure don't come off sounding so polished. It did not strike the right balance for me. Having said that, it was an easy listen and the multi-voiced narration was well done.
I just loved this book. A story that transported you away from the everyday and held you to the very last page. Witty, wise and wonderful.
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