It’s tempting to call American Magna Carta fun, fast-paced and furious, but clichés do no justice to its originality. Timely in this Magna Carta centenary year, it is a book to delight and engage all lovers of things English, but its scope is far wider. Vulture capitalism, drones and spy satellites inhabit the brave new world of the digital age where, the Internet is mightier than the pen. These all come within its orbit. As for the writing itself – witty dialogue moves the story along swiftly and a sense of immediacy comes from acutely observed physical environments, be it a voyage down the Hudson, the top deck of a bus in Somerset or below the giant girders of a bridge spanning the Thames. Never formulaic, it is peppered with cultural references and striking images: ..behind the drab buildings of St.Thomas’s Hospital green streaks of dawn lay across the eastern horizon like an amputee coming round after an operation. Humorous at times, ironical and clever – Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied. – it’s a crisp satire for our times, with insights that change the pace altogether – as well as being rather a good story!
by Rosalind Shakespear