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Be My Enemy (Jack Parlabane #4)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,454 ratings  ·  45 reviews
F**k this for a game of soldiers…

For investigative journalist Jack Parlabane, these are worrying times: it’s been almost three years since anyone tried to kill him and he fears he’s losing his touch. But then comes an assignment in the Scottish countryside that will more than make up for lost time …

Ultimate Motivational Leisure offer the latest in corporate outwards bounds
Published January 27th 2005 by Abacus (Little,Brown) (first published February 5th 2004)
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Outlander by Diana GabaldonMacbeth by William ShakespeareThe Winter Sea by Susanna KearsleyThe Last Sunset by Bob AtkinsonDragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Books Set in Scotland
158th out of 525 books — 436 voters
The Viking's Apprentice by Kevin McLeodOutlander by Diana GabaldonMacbeth by William ShakespeareIvanhoe by Walter ScottTrainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Best Scottish Fiction
153rd out of 203 books — 179 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,188)
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Mike O'Brien
Brookmyre is brilliant at using the crime genre to explore major themes. Here he looks at the human propensity to define ourselves by our enemies. He brings out all the complexities of the subject with his usual wit and an approach that is both down to earth, over the top, and surprisingly subtle - and sometimes all at the same time!
Be My Enemy = ((Motivational weekend + bampot politics) ^ chaos) x (Parlabane x Vale)

This is a perfect Brookmyre set up. Take a group of 'random' people—some annoying as hell, some only slightly so—add Jack Parlabane and Tim Vale. Have Parlabane's derogatory and hilarious commentary for half the book. Then throw in some bad guys and violence, slap Parlabane in an impromptu fun, dangerous and disgusting situation. Hey presto.

This book is purely for entertainment, and entertain it did. Humour, sus
3.5 stars. Brookmyre is a brilliant writer, and this is a bizarre and hilarious book. Not much happens in the first half, while the second half somewhat resembles a zombie attack survival scenario.

People are frequently trying to kill the thrill-seeking reporter Jack Parlabane, only this time he's puzzled as to why they're also trying to kill everyone else in a group of seemingly unconnected people participating in a motivational team-building weekend retreat in the Scottish Highlands.

While the i
Shihab Azhar
Having read 10 books by Brookmyre in a row (the first time I read as many books by a single author in an uninterrupted row), I'm a bit drained of emotions and words right now - not because they were a chore, but because of equal parts regret and sadness that this wonderful journey is now over - akin to returning to the dudgeon of routine and home after a wonderful vacation. So apologies, first of all, that this review isn't one of my best or most eloquent.


Second, this was my first reread of t
Ian Mapp
There was a book of his, with a group of characters set on a oil rig/leisure complex, being picked off one by one - until the good guys won.

This is the same book - set in a stately home on an outward bounds course.

Parlabane resurfaces - minus a bit of intestine following a previous mishap and is invited to review the opening weekend on a new outward bound type course where management types get the chance to play paintball. This is obviously not his cup of tea, but he is invited to check his expe
I feel bad about giving a Chris's book two stars so I guess I have to explain. (by the way, I'm not always consistent with my starring, it's more like a spur-of-the-moment thing)

It's a fun book to read, full of action or should I say gory action? But fun nonetheless. The thing is I was a little bit lost amidst the chaos, or I just rushed through it and missed some of the juiciest part. And albeit the characters talk a lot, the plot is a little bit thin.

On the subjective side, there are two thin
I had to carefully consider whether or not this was worthy of three stars, (which in my eyes means 'an okay book but nothing spectacular') or whether it should be downgraded to 2 stars ('edging towards complete crap but with one or two redeeming features'). In the end I opted for the latter.

I expected great things from this book and it failed to deliver in every aspect. Firstly the quality of writing is poor, leading me to be frequently confused over who was speaking or performing an action and
Well, after the previous Parlabane book was all talk, Brookmyre took this one back to the roots of the series as a continuous gross-out fest. I would have given it four stars, except there were spots where he added gross-out bits to the plot just for the sake of sticking them in, without even remotely trying to justify them in the story. Still, sadly enough, it was a fun book, and I liked it a lot.

Jack Parlabane is invited to try out the first session of a team-building weekend out in the boonie
Lilias Bennie
I prefer his alternative title for this book .. F**k this for a game of soldiers! Kinda sums it up. Anyway, Jack is back and on good form. After a few books where CB indulges in some political rants, in this one he just concentrates on giving us a good story. Unbelievable but then it wouldn't be a Brookmyre would it? Set in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Scotland, Jack is despatched by his newspaper to go and trial out a new teambuilding weekend. So off he goes in his usual cynical way. Not ...more
John O'Neill
Again with humour and crime drama Christopher Brookmyre thrills us with this Jack Parlabane novel. It is a laugh a minute and an excellent crime/thriller novel which you must not miss.

when the attack started I could not breath i was laughing so much.
Irreverent, hilarious, dark, Christopher Brookmyre on finest form!

Jack the Journalist has been invited on a free team building weekend - while he knows they are only after good reviews and free press he drags himself (reluctantly) along to the Scottish highlands anyway.
Chaos ensues as it soon becomes clear that someone is out to get this group - being shot at during hikes, power cuts, mysterious tampering of the mobile phones and disappearing guests ramp up the fear factor along with the fact th
Jack Parlabane is a seasoned journo who's had a turn in jail and gets invited to a "team building" weekend where he gets to evaluate/slag the company putting it on. Location? A recently restored Scottish castle in the middle of nowhere.

There's an odd assortment of characters also invited to the weekend, and they may have something in common. Did I mention also the paramilitaries that seem hell-bent on killing all of them?

The usual humour and social satire (he gets off some good ones on Marketeer
Aninha Costa
I just love Parlabane's books. They might be way too improbable but are so much fun!
great writing, fab story. Totally recommend
Nicola Hawkes
This is a book that never fails to make me giggle with appreciation of its black (and yes sometimes sick) humour. Sure there are little in-jokes, for example if you've not seen the film Highlander from many moons ago you might not appreciate one throw-away line, but it made me laugh out loud. The snooker table scene is easy to imagine and the after comments by Jack hysterical.
Brookmyre is easy to read and not afraid to comment.

Why haven't more been made into TV/films? Surely this would be a winn
If I weren't the kind to finish a book once I started it, I'd have totally missed the plot. Because nothing happens in this book until about halfway through. Then it gathers steam thru spurts of brilliance. Then it goes on rat-a-tat fast, and then... hmmmm. I dunno. Quite Ugly One Morning was a real treasure - this one, nahhh. Didn't quite live up to it.
Corporate-style team-building exercise in the isolated Scottish Highlands goes wrong when it is attacked by a crowd of sword-wielding maniacs. Like an Agatha Christie story, everyone involved has dark secrets that become important. Fairly crazy stuff, with a couple of very gross-out scenes, but also some dark (and not so dark) humour to lighten (sic) the mood. Rated R18 for frequent bloody violence, coarse language and adult themes. 4/5
Another book full of twists, turns, surprises and belly laughs from Christopher Brookmyre. And decapitation. A lot of decapitation [g:].

A group of cynical bleeding heart misfits find themselves on the teambuilding weekend from hell. Lots of wry satirical observations of modern corporate life and politics all told in Brookmyre's sparse yet pithy manner.

I am enjoying this Scottish writer very much.
Aug 13, 2008 Purple rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: You!
Shelves: crime-fiction, 5-star
This, this is where it's at!

I just love this book, along with One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night it is my favourite of Brookmyre's novels. He is never more comfortable than when he has people held in some ridiculously unlikely hostage situation.

In fact, instead of spending time writing a review, I'm just going to go and read the book again. Sorry, but it's that good!
The Cats Mother
This was gruesome but very funny, especially if you get the Scottish humour.
It's about a group of seemingly random individuals, invited to take part in an Outward Bound adventure weekend in the Scottish highlands, who discover that it's not all make-believe...
It managed the mash-up of satire and thriller very well - I'll be on the lookout for more of his books.
My first Brookmyre. My enjoyment was definitely enhanced by Ben Elton's flaccid 'Dead Famous' being such a recent memory. This is the book Elton desperately wanted his half-arsed attempt at satire to be. Crime fiction is not my genre at all but this guy is just so brilliant with words. And he name-checks System of a Down.
Peter Swanson
Christopher Brookmyre is sometimes billed as the UK's answer to Carl Hiaasen - probably true. However, he has not descended into self-pastiche, as Hiaasen seems to have done in the last few novels I read. Good, solid, dark humour, occasionally just that little OTT - which makes it fun.
Thomas Strömquist
My favorite Chris Brookmyre. Probably has something to do with it being the first one I read, ut there you have it. I was not prepared, and you won't be either if you haven't read one! Hard boiled, slightly absurd and with tons of very dark humor. Quote: You used what?
I could imagine Christopher Brookmyre smiling all the way through writing this brilliant romp. He handles a number of characters so deftly and the plotting is superb, as is the description of all the action in the final scenes.
Sarah Hurt
This will always be my favourite of Christopher Brookmyer's books. For many many reasons, the pacing, the plot, the deliciously dark sense of humour, the characters.

But mostly it's because I cannot think of the pool table scene without laughing. Ayyyeee thangeew.
Apr 19, 2009 Mel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Ok, technically I read about at least 30-40% of the book by skimming it back and forth while I was reading Quite Ugly One Morning, to get a glimpse of what's happening later in the universe. I am happy to say I know I won't be disappointed.
Michael D
'I am so hungry i could eat the arse of a farmer through a hedge'. Classic Brookmyre - never mind the booker prize - THIS is where writing is at in modern Britain in the 2000's. The funniest and wisest writer working there at the moment.
Good fun, very witty and quick, like a cross between Dick Francis, John LeCarre and Irvine Welsh.
This was my first one his books. Not terrible...but a little on the predictable side...little heavy with the cliches....good writing, character development, and plotting though. However, I wasn't grabbed by the book.
Probably the goriest Brookmyre novel yet, but one of my favorites, actually. More action-filled than plot-filled, but it went quick and was a fun read.
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Christopher Brookmyre is a Scottish novelist whose novels mix politics, social comment and action with a strong narrative. He has been referred to as a Tartan Noir author. His debut novel was Quite Ugly One Morning, and subsequent works have included One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, which he said "was just the sort of book he needed to write before he turned 30", and All Fun and Games unti ...more
More about Christopher Brookmyre...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Parlabane (6 books)
  • Quite Ugly One Morning (Jack Parlabane, #1)
  • Country Of The Blind (Jack Parlabane, #2)
  • Boiling a Frog
  • Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks
  • Dead Girl Walking
Quite Ugly One Morning (Jack Parlabane, #1) A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night The Sacred Art of Stealing All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye

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“Well, are you not going to give the man a round of applause?" he asked. "I mean, that was fucking amazing, didn't you think? Honestly, if you'd asked me ten minutes ago, hypothetically, if it was possible to cut your own head off, I'd have said unequivocally no. You've really got to hand it to the bloke -- though it's fair to say luck was involved. I mean, there's no way he could do it again.” 26 likes
“Just because you disagreed with the Poll Tax and detested Margaret Thatcher—"
"Detest is a little inappropriate," Parlabane said. "Maybe closer to say I spent the entire Eighties wishing I was pissing on her rotting corpse.”
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