Title: Murder Most Fab
Author: Julian Clary
Publisher: Ebury Press
Published: 16 August 2007
The first thing you notice about Julian Clary’s debut novel, Murder Most Fab, is the bright pink cover. It lights up shelf. If you want a book to standout then this is the way to go and as its author isn’t known for being subtle it suites him perfectly. The question is how does the cover match the contents of the book?
I have mixed feelings about MMF. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought it was going to a light-hearted, joke-ridden-romp through the life of a TV star from rising star to fallen angel. But instead we have an outrageous exploration of fame that sucks the life out of someone who can’t escape his first love and has no way out of the life he lives.
The whole book is Jonny D’s retelling of his rise and fall. His life as a country boy who turns to prostitution in London and then finds fame on children’s TV. This though cannot be done without the help of enough coke to keep his audience high for life, lots of man-on-man sex and a few unfortunate deaths alone the way.
It’s a fun read. The voice of Jonny is enjoyable and easy to get on with. The writing is clean and crisp giving enough information to keep everything moving along, not lingering on the sticky details, with just enough of a flavour so you know what’s going on.
For me it’s let down slightly in some of the stranger plot twists and turns but I’ll forgive that for the emotional journey that Clarey took me on. And I’m always more forgiving of first novels than ones by more seasoned writers. Plotting takes practice.
It’s not going to win any literary prizes but it’s a surprisingly fun way to spend an evening or two. It’s also an interesting commentary from the other side on the realities of celebrity as what you see isn’t really what you get. And if I was Jonny I’d have pushed Catherine off a bridge round about page 181.
As Mr Clary can definately write and has a way with words I have high hopes that he’ll florish even more with his next book.