Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize
From the bestselling author of the Patrick Melrose novels, this is a thought-provoking and entertaining insight into a sniping world of literature, celebrity culture and ambition.
Each of the judges of the Elysian Prize for literature has a reason for accepting the job. For the chairman, MP Malcolm Craig, it is backbench boredom, media personality Jo Cross is on the hunt for a 'relevant' novel, and Oxbridge academic Vanessa Shaw is determined to discover good writing. But for Penny Feathers of the Foreign Office, it's all just getting in the way of writing her own thriller.
Over the next few weeks they must read hundreds of submissions to find the best book of the year, and so the judges spar, cajole and bargain in order that their chosen title gets the recognition it deserves. Meanwhile, a host of authors are desperate for Elysian glory, including brilliant writer and serial heart-breaker Katherine Burns, lovelorn debut novelist Sam Black, and Sonny, convinced that his magnum opus, The Mulberry Elephant, will take the literary world by storm.
Lost for Words is razor-sharp and fabulously entertaining. It cuts to the quick of some of the deepest questions about the place of art in our celebrity-obsessed culture, and asks how we can ever hope to recognize real talent when everyone has an agenda.
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I would try another book narrated by Alex Jennings who was excellent but I would not try another book by Edward St Aubyn. I struggled with The Hare with the Golden Eyes and I did not enjoy this one at all.
This writer is obviously just not my cup of tea. He has had good reviews, so some people do enjoy reading him, but I am afraid not me. I know from conversations with friends I am not alone in this.