Written by Tom Rachman
Peel: A collection of overlapping vignettes focused on a failing newspaper.
Each chapter is from a different character’s point of view, and inserted between chapters is the italicized history of the paper. The book reads much more like a collection of stories than a novel. Though the characters appear rather different at first glance, they’re all alienated, cliches, and a bit dysfunctional. All the women characters are irredeemable with some form of neurosis, self-esteem issues, and/or a need for men. The prose itself wasn’t that great, and worsens as the novel continues. There are some amusing moments and lovely scenery, but the chapter titles/headlines tended to oversell the chapters.
The book is focused on people struggling with themselves, rather than the paper struggling to exist in an internet age. The brief bits of the paper’s history were rather dull.
Nibble: “This wins a ringing endorsement and a fast-dying chuckle- they don’t like to laugh at each other’s jokes.”
I would recommend this to someone as a quick and light read.
My Rating: 4 out of 10 incomplete apples