Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Crippen - John Boyne

You wonder what's left to say about Crippen.  John Boyne has a twist.  It's a long time coming but when it finally arrives, it's a corker.  Then Boyne twists it again.  What's really clever is that, when you look back from the end, you realise everything has been kept in character and within the logic of the narrative.  In the meantime Boyne keeps you pleasantly entertained with a cast of interesting and amusing characters, cross-dressing capers, and a disjointed timeframe.  I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of Inspector Walter Dew, the man who pursued Crippen across the Atlantic, thus creating that modern affront to all decency, the media feeding frenzy.  Poor old Hawley was condemned to Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors during ten days or so at sea.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.  John Boyne has gained himself a committed reader.

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