The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (Full Version)

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sharkboy -> The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (25/1/2006 7:52:11 PM)

Having just turned the last page on Brookmyre's latest masterpiece All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses An Eye, it struck me that I probably haven't come across a homegrown author that is as consistently funny, exciting and clever as Brookmyre.  And that got me thinking that he seems to have been badly neglected in this forum - so to make amends I thought a little love for the genius that is Brookmyre was appropriate, especially on Burns Night!

How to describe his books?...Imagine if Carl Hiaasen had been born in Scotland rather than South Florida.  You'd get his trademark eye for great plots and brilliant characters, with humour as dark and cold as a highland winter.  Brookmyre's characters are superb, particularly Jack Parlabane, the street-savvy investigative reporter who specialises in pissing off the people in charge and who possesses a great repertire of witty one-liners.  So far he's been set up for murder, imprisoned and faced the wrath of disgruntled soldiers of fortune, staying one step ahead thanks to some great writing, clever plots and witty banter.

Then there are the non-Parlabane books, which are just screaming to be filmed. We've had terrorists trying to destroy a hydro-electric dam, a school reunion on a converted oil rig going amiss when the old school chums are taken hostage and, my favourite, a bank robbery carried out by a group of surrealist clowns (yes, thats surrealist clowns!).  Never dull, never predictable, the books are all so enjoyable that, like me, you'll probably find yourself finishing them in one or two sittings.

So come on people, share the love - any other Brookmyre fans on this forum?  What's your favourite book(s)/plots/characters?  If you're a fan of Hiaasen or similar crime writers, let us persuade you to look closer to home for your next fix of crime fiction coloured with a deep black humour.






Izzardesque2 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (27/1/2006 12:12:46 PM)

Well you already know I am!




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (27/1/2006 12:37:30 PM)

Can I recommend Dave Barry to you as well? Hiassen is also a fan of his. He wrote the book the film Big Trouble was based on. Brookmyre fans would appreciate him.

I am looking forward to the next one which is out in May I think. My favourite is probably still One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night - I still laugh at loud reading it.

How much do I like Brookmyre? Enough to consider tracing the writer of the ITV abomination down and beating him about the head with a copy of Quite Ugly One Morning.

I  love his rants - the scene with the football fans in the bank in Sacred Art, the attack on bigoted religion with Winning and the ex Record editor now PR guru in Boiling A Frog And I am so glad he finally explained what the con was saying, because I just thought it was a Scots phrase I didn't know!

I love the first death in Be My Enemy.  

Wonderful writer, but I think you get an extra frisson if you are a Scot reading some of his attacks. And the kids bubble place exists in East Kilbride - my nephew has used it!




riversbend -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (27/1/2006 5:45:07 PM)

I've only read A big boy did it and ran away, but I just got Be my enemy out of the library today.  Haven't started it yet, but looking forward to it!




sharkboy -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (27/1/2006 8:19:33 PM)

Thanks for the recommendation elab - I'll check him out!

I too loved the first death in Be My Enemy - totally unexpected!  But my favourite part was Parlabane having to improvise a length of rope [:'(]




knoxster -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (28/1/2006 4:14:23 PM)

big fan of brookmyre
read one fine day first.. laugh out loud funny and good movie cliches ripped into. found it hard at first to get into paralabane books but once in find them great, afag was brillant waiting for next one in great anticipation. but favourite has to be the surrealist clowns .[:)]




DrNick -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (1/2/2006 4:25:26 PM)

I really enjoyed A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away, and the oil rig one's a lot of fun as well - but I think he suffers from exactly the same problem as Carl Hiaasen; it's pretty samey.

and I thought the All Fun And Games... one was just lazy to be honest, at least in his other stuff I bought the characters, in that one I just found myself thinking 'not really' a lot of the time.  And I know it's just comedy-thriller etc etc but even so.

got quite a bit to recommend him though.




livila -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (1/2/2006 5:11:28 PM)

I'm a big fan of Christopher Brookmyre. And lately I've been moving through Carl Hiaasen's back catalogue.

I really enjoy both these writers not for the plots exactly but for how it gets there. It's the way the main characters come ot on top despite horrible circumstances that make them so much fun. Because when you analyse it, there is alot of death and destruction in both. Both have moments of pathos and anger at either political or ecological injustices.

One Fine Day.... and It's not the End of the world are my two favourite plots.
I enjoy the bad guy in A Big Boy did it...




Izzardesque2 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (1/2/2006 5:41:16 PM)

I think the Sacred Art of Stealing has possibly the best bank robbery ever.




riversbend -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (4/2/2006 11:05:52 AM)

I am half way through be my enemy or fuck this for a game of soldiers, and I really really want to see it made into a film.  I don't usually get this with books, but I just HAVE TO see the snooker table scene on a big screen.  




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (25/5/2006 3:15:35 PM)

*rubs hands together*

Well, that's my weekend set. A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil is winging its way to me and should arrive today. I notice it is in the shops in Glasgow too.




TobiasFunke -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (25/5/2006 6:22:39 PM)

He was in the Sauchiehall Street branch of Waterstones signing the new book last night, elab49! I didn't have the time to go alone tho [:@] Anyhoo I've read a couple of his books and am currently reading All Fun and Games...I'm not liking it as much as the other books of his I read but I'll stick with it. Brookmyre is a great humourist and his novels always have some great surprises!




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (26/5/2006 7:45:14 PM)

Well.

Certainly not a laugh out loud one - apart from the glossary at the back which betrays something of a worrying obsession with the 1983 Scottish cup semi-final replay, and the career of Brian McGinlay!

The 'mystery' - the excuse for the story - isn't a great one, nor is it meant to be. Think One Fine Day In The Middle of the Night - but far more concentration on the school scenes, but this time from P1 to 5th year. That's the core of the book - and what evil little bastards kids are. Teachers aren't much better.

One incredibly sad bit really makes you think - about one poor little lad that is wrongly accused by a teacher and adults who just don't listen, and who becomes a resigned and sad self-fulfilling prophecy. Beautifully written.

I found this book quite affecting though - these kids are my age. They went through primary and secondary at the same time as me - 1st year and section 6 in the biology books hold the same lingering reminder for me! Apart from the fact it is set in catholic schools, this could be mine. So I think it might mean more to people like me than most readers. It just reminded me of so much.

A very poignant book and very much a change of mood for Brookmyre. I'd recommend it highly.





James74 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (28/5/2006 5:45:47 PM)

This guy is such a great story teller, who can keep me hooked as soon as i start reading him. Read 3 of his books so far:-

"One Fine Day In The Middle of The Night" - first one i read and what got me into him.
The Sacred Art Of Stealing the thought of a group of guys walking down Buchanan Street dressed as clowns and going into rob a bank had me in stiches "Alikizamy Stairheid Rammy!" 
"A big boy did it and ran away" is the best one ive read yet, the patter of the wee boys was brilliant and as im living in the southside of Glasgow i knew so many of the areas that he mentioned in the book made it seem even more believable. 
I can't wait to read more of his books.




Beats -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (7/6/2006 12:05:52 PM)

mmm….I started reading Brookmyer years ago and I got through quite a few of his books. I kinda gave up on them though as I thought they were getting a bit repetitive, but after reading this thread I think I might pick up some of his more recent ones.

He has got a fantastic ability to create comedy out of the most unlikely situations. I can’t remember which one it is but I have a vague recollection of reading one on a train back from Aviemore, that involved a retired policeman trying to flag down some tourists in a 2CV with a severed arm and there may even have been a sheep involved…or something, I can’t quite remember but it was hysterically funny. Other people on the train actually began opening laughing at me because I was laughing so much.   




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (7/6/2006 1:48:48 PM)

It is the start of One Fine Day In the Middle Of the Night - for me, Brookmyre's funniest and one I am still reluctant to read on public transport [:D]




Izzardesque2 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (7/6/2006 3:20:54 PM)

I personally like Boiling a Frog which hasn't been mentioned yet.




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (7/6/2006 8:07:22 PM)

I think it is the angriest, particularly when you recognise the characters. A certain ex-Record editor wouldn't have been happy. Or, indeed, Winning.




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (3/8/2007 9:57:34 AM)

The new Brookmyre is now out - dedicated to James Kandi and Richard Dawkins it is, as his article in the Guardian a couple of days ago might indicate, a take on spiritualism with the return of Parlabane. And, in the first few pages, a very pointed definition of a spectre! Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks.




Jim -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (3/8/2007 8:45:26 PM)

Hm, I read The Sacred Art of Stealing a few years ago, and though I thought it was alright I didn't think it was great. I might read it again after seeing you fans.




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (3/8/2007 9:54:13 PM)

Not really the best one to start with in my opinion so I'd certainly try others. As a one-off One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night can't be beat.

For the new one? If you are a Firefly fan you'll be a few steps of others readers at one point!




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (8/8/2007 12:47:11 PM)

Mmm - nice idea BUT not very happy with the plotting in this one. Waiting till page 258 for something that was bleeding obvious and then expecting us to believe the sceptic Parlabane wouldn't have checked a few facts? Not really credible - subordinates an established character normal behaviour to make an excellent point.

Those fairly large niggles aside I did still like the book but it wasn't a patch on the last Parlabane.




Rinc -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (8/8/2007 9:19:05 PM)

I've read One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night which i thought was excellent and The Sacred Art of Stealing which was good. Brookmyre seems like a very imaginative writer albeit one with quite a realist edge. Which other Brookmyre books would everyone recommend?




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (8/8/2007 10:40:53 PM)

I'd go through all of them in truth - there aren't that many. There is a series of Parlabane books - the first and Be My Enemy are my favourites of those. For a one-off you might want to try the latter of those 2 next? Characters recur all over the place - but this might appeal to you as Tim Vale turns up again as a main character.




Rinc -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (9/8/2007 11:22:23 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I'd go through all of them in truth - there aren't that many. There is a series of Parlabane books - the first and Be My Enemy are my favourites of those. For a one-off you might want to try the latter of those 2 next? Characters recur all over the place - but this might appeal to you as Tim Vale turns up again as a main character.


Thanks i'll check them out.




MathewRed -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (5/8/2009 10:54:36 PM)

Read quite a few Brookmyre so far, most reccently 'Be My Enemy', which I just finished. Very black humour with an intresting plot - highly recommended.

My favorite so far is 'One Fine Day...', which is hilarious.

About to start his latest, 'A Snow Ball In Hell', which sounds intresting.




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (6/8/2009 4:48:13 PM)

I've just ordered Pandaemonium as Amazon are showing it as in stock - rather than next week. Which is odd as the launch isn't till next week at the Kings. Seems to have more of a supernatural edge and bits of the synopsis remind me of both Be My Enemy and Good Omens (Pratchett/Gaiman).




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (7/8/2009 3:34:26 PM)

Well it must be out - despatch notice and everything.

If I believed in that sort of thing I'd be praying it avoided the postal strikes and makes my weekend by arriving tomorrow.




sharkboy -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (7/8/2009 3:47:07 PM)

Just got the same notification from Amazon, but as I'm away all weekend, I don't mind of it doesn't arrive tomorrow [:D]




elab49 -> RE: The Christopher Brookmyre appreciation thread (16/8/2009 1:54:28 PM)

So - kind of a cross between Be my Enemy and A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil. Not entirely successful with the overarching story - and a lot of it seems little more than a proxy for discussing how religion works and why people believe (unlike Boiling a Frog which was one long angry rant).

There are even moments that are a little reminiscent of One Fine Day with a character not that far from Jackson and a moment that really reminded me of Ally McQuade doing the 'I told you so' when Davie Murdoch wired the doors.

While not entirely sucessful the bulk of the book is the story of a group of teenagers and I think he's as successful in creating them as he was with A Tale, which is, IMO, his best writing. So successful that I wanted to go back to their story every time it drifted away.

So, a higher middling book I think. And as usual it has pushed me to dig out several of the others for rereads. The sublime One Fine Day was yesterday [:)]




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