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DubaiReader

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Death Stalks Kettle Street
John Bowen

Annoying.

The Slip - Mark Sampson

I really enjoyed Mark Sampson's Sad Peninsular (5 stars), so I leaped at the chance to preview another of his books, The Slip. Unfortunately they couldn't have been more different and this one really infuriated me.

 

The premise was fine, a well known philosophy professor is invited on to live TV to discuss the collapse of a huge Canadian financial institution, that he had written about in one of his studies. Alongside him on the panel is Cheryl Sneed, his rival of many years. He knows she is going to try to wind him up, but he's had a bad day and loses his rag, making a ridiculous comment about the company they are discussing and then compounding it by insulting Cheryl with a misogynistic remark that the world's feminists immediately pounce upon. Social media goes into full swing and his life is hell for the next several days.

 

What really annoyed me about this book was that it wasn't really about the nonsense that is social media these days - it was a good 3/4 of the way through the book that Philip actually realised that he'd made anything more than a blunder regarding the company. He had no idea (because he deleted all relevant messages) that the world was upset about the misogynistic comments that he hadn't even realised that he'd made.

 

I did enjoy the bits about his background, his childhood, how he'd met his wife, his student life and his relationship with an Indian student. These episodes were a breath of fresh air. I also smiled at his hopeless ineptitude with the many remembrance poppies that he lost along the way.

Counterbalancing that were the huge number of unnecessarily intellectual words used by Philip, I don't think my Kindle dictionary has ever worked so hard. Really, he was such an irritating boffin, I could have thrown his own book at him!