Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Who's Afraid of the Booker Prize? by Peter Cowlam

Who's Afraid of the Booker Prize?
Published April 2013, Peter Cowlam’s novel Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize?, is a deliciously malicious satire on literary celebrity.

For Alistair Wye, assistant to ‘top’ novelist Marshall Zob, Zob makes just two mistakes. First, he plans a commemorative book celebrating the life and work of his dead mentor, John Andrew Glaze, whose theory of ‘literary time’ is of dubious philosophical pedigree. Second, Zob turns the whole literary world on its head through the size of advance he instructs his agent to negotiate for his latest, and most mediocre novel to date.

Secretly Wye keeps a diary of Zob’s professional and private life. Comic, resolute, Wye stalks through its every page, scattering his pearls with an imperious hand, while an unsuspecting Zob ensures perfect conditions for the chronicler of his downfall.

Set in the relatively safe remove of London’s beau monde in the early 1990s, Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize? unremittingly debunks the phenomenon of literary celebrity.

The plot revolves round a researcher working through an archive of computer discs, emails and faxes, and his own diary entries recording his reactions to life in proximity to bookish heavyweight Marshall Zob. It’s a roaring satire, with a serious message, and remarkably funny, in the best English comedic tradition.

Who's Afraid of the Booker Prize? is published by CentreHouse Press, paperback, 270 pages. See Amazon purchase options: USA, UK.

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