My grateful thanks to Laurence Simpson for a review copy of According to the Daily Mail: The audacious sabotage of tacky tabloid newspapers and trashy TV which is available in both e-book and paperback published by Matador on 25th August 2015. According to the Daily Mail is available for purchase here in the UK and here in the US.
Jonathon hates the red top tabloids and he hates the Daily Mail in particular. So when he receives a substantial windfall from his friend David he decides to employ it sabotaging the Daily Mail establishment – as long as no-one gets hurt. But plans have a habit of going awry and not everything will work as intended.
I have to be honest and say that had I not been sent a copy of this book I would probably not have read it as neither the title According to The Daily Mail: The audacious sabotage of tacky tabloid newspapers and trashy TV, nor the cover attracted me much. However, that would have been a real shame as this is a very entertaining read.
Despite the fact that Jonathon is a complete rogue and not without a considerable degree of sexism in his approach, regardless of his attempts to undermine prurient media, he is a thoroughly likeable rogue and I enjoyed reading what happened to him. He appears to be a cross between Johnny English and James Bond, enjoying fine wine and women (as long as they are not his ex-wife), and I think he will appeal to the fantasies of many a heterosexual male.
Although I think this might be a book that appeals more to male than female readers, I found myself grinning most of the time as I read and laughing aloud frequently. Much of the humour for me came through the snappy dialogue which is quick-witted and natural so that you can almost picture the expressions on the faces of those interlocutors.
There’s real skill in the writing and I actually think Laurence Simpson has been very audacious. The plot is fast paced and the variety of sentence lengths moves the story along at a cracking rate. I think a couple of passages could have been edited slightly more and didn’t always add to the narrative, but because the pace was so fast they did not interfere with my enjoyment of the novel. I really enjoyed the way in which Jonathon’s views reflect those of so many of us and his actions are those we’d like to be able to carry out for ourselves.
Given that this is a very successful comic novel I think credit has to be given to Laurence Simpson too for exploring many of the ills of today’s society – corruption, greed, overt and unnecessary sexual reference in the media and so on – in such an accessible way. I think many readers, as I did, will agree wholeheartedly with his underlying views and be rooting for Jonathon from start to finish.
According to the Daily Mail is a romp of a read and great fun.