Lightning Review: The Rich Pay Late by Simon Raven (1964)

Alms Vol I

A review in 200 words or fewer:

This is an example of judging a book by a cover and trusting Vintage Classics.  I’m glad I did as between the comic-book art covers of Alm For Oblivion Volume 1 are four short interconnected novels.

It opens with The Rich Pay Late: Jude Holdbrook has a proposal for his business partner, Donald Salinger, for their advert distributor business to buy a magazine called ‘Strix’ so they can grow their empire. We follow how Jude persuades Donald and how successful they are at this endeavour.

It delves into the lives of the rich and privileged. Simon Raven is quick witted, great with dialogue and able to turn scenes on a pin. It’s like reading a scandal unfolding. I got invested in the characters and their dramas and their various connections. Raven gives all of them a nice story arc and the ending is satisfying and ties things off nicely with people getting what they, more or less, deserve.

All this was unexpected as I usually need a murder or man with a sword or a nice spaceship to keep me interested. This had purely Raven to keep me going.

I liked it a lot.

Anyone have any similar works they’d recommend?

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