Hello again folks, time for another book review, and don’t switch off straight away, there’s a competition to win a copy at the end too.
So, bob on your grown up hat and let’s have a look at…
THE DEATH OF THE POET
By N Quentin Woolf
This book follows the journey of controversial radio host John Knox as he enters into a romantic relationship with a ‘crazy’ woman. When she attacks him and leaves him badly scarred, the story switches to that of a disfigured gay World War 1 soldier, with a dark secret. As the stories intertwine, John Knox finds himself reading the soldier’s journals and their paths end up converging in ways that are both surprising and full of spoilers that I really want to tell you but won’t. I do have to say that the ending of the book is somewhat abrupt, with an unsettling twist.
The DJ’s story is written in the form of a long form letter, directed to his abusive lover, however it doesn’t set out to judge or expect an apology, and deals with the relationship in a very matter of fact way, as the character is totally blinded by love.
The book has very short chapters, which for reasons I can’t fathom are numbered backwards. I guess that makes this the perfect book for dipping in and out of on train journeys, on the toilet or if you just fancy a minute or two of escapism.
I got my missus Gem to read this too, and as a history nerd, she was very impressed with the World War 1 section, it’s historical accuracy and attention to detail. She probably tried to tell me all about it, but I must have got distracted by a flashing light or a squirrel, like every other time she tries to tell me things.
The book’s themes cover romance in differing, yet unconventional places, the soldier finding love in the trenches, and the DJ’s desperate love in the face of an abusive partner. The language used is incredibly beautiful, even when describing things that would be otherwise upsetting or horrific. That said, the book is deadly serious, hence this review being a bit less funny than I’m used to typing. This book certainly brought out the grown up in me. That said, I did do a little ‘squee’ because my copy is signed by the author and that made me all excited.
All in all, I have to be honest and say that despite this really not being ‘my sort of book’, I enjoyed it, and would recommend it if you like a bit of drama, a bit of romance and a splash of history.
Want to win a copy of this book?
Well now you can, just email the answer to the following
difficult multiple choice question to firstname.lastname@example.org (with the subject POET) along with your name and email address. DIFFICULT QUESTION
This review is about a new book by N Quentin Woolf. What is the name of the book?
a) Devil’s Carpet Delivery Service
b) Sausage Sausage Sausage – The Adventures of Daring Henry
c) The Death of the Poet
Competition ends on 30th May 2014 at 8pm BST, where upon I will pick a name at random. My decision is final, one entry per person, etc etc.
EDIT – N Quentin Woolf has been in touch with me regarding the backwards chapters and the twisty ending. Now I’m even more confused and upset. It turns out the time and place of the ending are VERY IMPORTANT.
This is why I usually stick tokids books.