this charming man

August 10, 2009

I’ve been having many late nights. Not because I’m out partying or anything like that. I’ve actually been cooped up in bed with this.


This was my first Marian Keyes book. I decided I’ve been too bias towards Sophie Kinsella and I should give other authors a try.

Completely different style of writing. I thought this book would be about some charming man who has so many girls swooning over him.

But it’s the total opposite! He actually turns out to be a very sick and disturbing man.

The book was pretty heavy duty. Keyes combined alcoholism, girl kissing transvestites, domestic violence, adultery, kinky sex (specific details…I’m quite traumatised to be honest), reference to Islam, high-risk politics, dirty schemes; all rolled into some 800 pages.

The first half of the book went by pretty slowly and there were too much unnecessary information and too many unnecessary characters introduced. It was long-winded and I almost wanted to stop reading it. But the bad thing about reading is that you can’t stop halfway because that’s not giving a chance to the author. So, I forced myself to finish the book.

And I’m glad I did. The pace picked up in the latter half of the book. That’s where all the truths are revealed and the twists and suspense start kicking in.

The story was told in the eyes of 4 different women; all somehow linked to this one charming man, Paddy de Courcy. They were his girlfriend (Lola), his ex-girlfriend (Marnie), Marnie’s sister (Grace) and Paddy’s future wife (Alicia). One day, he and Alicia announced their engagement in the newspaper, and poor Lola didn’t see it coming. He just dismissed her and said “We were just a bit of fun!” (Not the first time it’s happened to women!)

The book was fun, but at the same time serious. It made me understand the important issues (alcohol abuse, domestic abuse etc) from the eyes of the victim herself. Why she does this and that, what’s going on in her mind, how she tries to regain her confidence etc. It’s quite interesting, and frustrating at the same time. It’s as if I want to jump into the book, knock her head and say “Snap out of it, you stupid woman.”

Not my usual kind of book, but I’m glad I learned a lot of things from it.

I absolutely love the ending, though.

And this won’t be my last Marian Keyes book.