I have to admit to being a bit hesitant about reading Paul Murray’s new novel. Skippy Dies was incredible and the blurb on the back of the book made his follow-up sound like a zany story about a banker’s misadventures. Coupled with the fact that unlike Skippy Dies there was zero buzz about his new book. There weren’t even ARCs available! Which suffice to say had me incredibly worried about what to expect from The Mark and the Void.
But all those worries were quickly dispelled. The prologue sunk its hooks straight into me, setting up the book perfectly which Paul Murray skillfully rides all the way to an absolutely brilliantly ending that is nothing short of genius. This is essentially a comedy set in a Dublin investment bank post-Global Financial Crisis. While there doesn’t seem to be much to laugh about the financial crisis in Europe Paul Murray has written a witty and insightful novel that will have you in stitches. At the same time he blurs the lines between the reader and the writer with a meta storyline that doesn’t just have everything come full circle upon itself but creates an almost helix that keeps going even after you finish the book!
Claude is a French banker working for a multi-national investment bank based in the tax and legal void that is Dublin. Claude’s bank is one of the few banks left that is doing well but Claude is living a solitary existence, making money but essentially nothing else. When he meets a writer, Paul, who wants to base a novel around him Claude is intrigued. But as Paul begins his research Claude quickly discovers that not all is what it appears to be. Not with Paul or his novel. And not with his bank, clients or coworkers.
This is an insanely clever read and easily the funniest book I have read this year. If you loved Skippy Dies you have to read this, if you haven’t you have to read both! A cutting and penetrating look at the post-GC world and how nothing has really changed that will make you snort with laughter!
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Classification: Fiction & related items » Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
(216mm x 138mm x 36mm)
Imprint: Hamish Hamilton Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 30-Jul-2015
Country of Publication: United Kingdom