Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Quite Ugly One Morning (Jack Parlabane, #1)” as Want to Read:
Quite Ugly One Morning (Jack Parlabane, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Quite Ugly One Morning (Jack Parlabane #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  3,818 ratings  ·  189 reviews
Quite Ugly One Morning is the book that made Christopher Brookmyre a star in his native Britain, establishing his distinctive, scabrously humorous style and breakneck, hell-for-leather narrative pacing. The novel that won the inaugural First Blood Award for the best debut crime novel in the United Kingdom is now available in America for the first time, and comic crime writ ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published July 3rd 1997 by Abacus (first published 1996)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Quite Ugly One Morning, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Quite Ugly One Morning

Knots and Crosses by Ian RankinHide and Seek by Ian RankinStrip Jack by Ian RankinThe Black Book by Ian RankinBlack and Blue by Ian Rankin
Tartan Noir
28th out of 226 books — 66 voters
Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. RowlingThe Quiet American by Graham GreeneA Quick Bite by Lynsay SandsThe Queen's Man by Sharon Kay PenmanQueer by William S. Burroughs
Titles That Begin With Q
57th out of 86 books — 19 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Warning. This review might offend easily offended people.

This is the book where Brookmyre has a graphic description of a turd early on, which I thought was rather unnecessary, but what would I know? More people read his books than my reviews. For now, anyway.

So, last night while partaking of tea at the Windsor, suddenly at 10pm my brother Bernard calls home. ‘Has she done it yet?’ They’ve just had a kitten, you see, called Socks and they are waiting for her to do her first poo. Not so much her f
Quite Ugly One Morning is definitely Quite Fantastic An Experience. What a book! After I read this book, I was left completely stranded and was not able to choose which book to pick up next for a whole 8 hours and I am still struggling. It’s just like the lingering after taste of a rich and heavy wine.

Where do I start? If I have to talk about the plot, I can write volumes. If I have to talk about the treatment, it will be never ending and if I have to talk about the protagonist, I may not ever
I like the genre name "Tartan Noir", to which this book belongs. It's a mystery/crime novel set in Edinburgh in the 90's. The book is funny and I liked the writing, but the plot is nothing special: I'm bored with evil, moneygrubbing corporate executives. This is actually a rather odd mystery in that the villain's identity is revealed quite early on. It reminded me of a Coen brothers movie: the bad guys are horrific and yet hilariously incompetent, and you watch while the good guys track them dow ...more
Two-thirds of the way through the first chapter of QUOM, the detectives at the newly discovered, extremely messy crime scene, discover that not only has the murderer been as brutal and sadistic as he appears to have possibly been able to manage, but he has also done a sizable shit on the mantelpiece. And lo, the tone is set. A very few chapters later, Christopher Brookmyre tells you whodunnit, and the rest of the book involves a lot of charging about while the good guys explain to each other how ...more
This is the first of the Jack Parlabane novels - a short journalist with a habit for getting himself seriously into trouble often involving him carrying on like a burglar.

This was made into a television show a couple of years ago and they really made a mess of it. Hard to imagine, as his stuff really is crying out to be made into films.

Parlabane has returned suddenly to Scotland only to wake the next morning to the smell of various human wastes in his flat. Going off to investigate the smell, wh
Sep 05, 2014 Wendle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Wendle by: Daniel
Shelves: favourites, humour
Quite Ugly One Morning = ((NHS + money-grabbing politician) x (Parlabane + romance)) ^ Graphic violence

For a long time previously my other half had been reading Brookmyre and loving them. Loving them so much that he would stay up late into the night reading them because he just had to finish. My reaction to this would be to moan; "Turn out the light, I want to go to sleep!"

After much cajoling, I finally agreed to read a Brookmyre book. Being the anal kind of person that I am, I insisted on start
If Quentin Tarantino and Carl Hiassen had a love child, and he was Scottish, he might turn out to be something like Christopher Brookmyre - violent, profane and outrageously funny.

Jack Parlabane is an intrepid muckraking journalist who stumbles - quite literally - into a horrific murder scene. The doctor in the apartment below him has been killed. Parlabane determines to get to the bottom of it with the help of the doctor's ex-wife and DC Jenny Dalziel. They uncover massive financial chicanery a
Laura Belgrave
Well, hell. Who'd think you might find a hardboiled mystery set in Scotland? I mean, I visited Scotland once, long ago, and it struck me as quite a sleepy place where nothing much could happen beyond sheep blocking a roadway. That's not the Scotland of Christopher Brookmyre's most excellent "Quite Ugly One Morning."

Now then, don't read any further if you aren't a fan of novels with explicit language and, well . . . let's just say "vivid" scenes. Of course, given the heavy Scottish tone, you migh
I received a note from a Goodreads friend after a review I wrote about the last Stuart MacBride book suggesting a check out Christopher Brookmyre. I finally did and am totally hooked on his main character, Jack Parlabane, a very witty investigative reporter uncovering murder and fraud in the world of Edinborough's National health Service. Besides being an excellent, well crafted mystery, it's brilliantly funny - like Carl Hiaassen or Dan Jenkins funny. So...I've already purchased Jack Parlabane ...more
Andrew Morris
I'm not usually a crime fan but then this is no ordinary piece of crime fiction. This book is a very witty, very funny satire written in such a way that it is also appallingly believable. There will be times you can't put this book down, and times when you must: if only through shock, abhorrence, or bellyaching laughter.
My younger daughter pointed me in the direction of this book and I am now avidly tracking down and reading all his works that I can get my mitts on. Jack Parlabane is my kind of guy and features in several other Brookmyre books. The wit within the novel is very sharp and the book is one of those unputdownable ones.
Fun, manic crime novel set in Edinburgh, which starts with a bang and never lets up. Also made me laugh that the NHS trust manager is portrayed in the way he is, as is the corporate structure of the NHS.
This is my first encounter with Brookmyre, and I'm glad it happened. It's a good read for anyone who likes hard-boiled detective stuff, especially if you enjoy a touch of the absurd.

What I enjoyed most about this book is the witty and literate repartee. That's slightly surprising, perhaps, because even though I have spent a fair amount of time in England, there was an amazing amount of local slang (some undoubtedly Scottish), acronyms and political references I simply did not get. While it was p
This was described to me as a disgusting, raucous comic thriller. Even with that description I wasn't ready for the thought of the stickiness/slipperiness of vomit to be put in my head or the overly detailed description of the dump someone took on the mantle!

The gross out factor waned after the first few pages and the story settled in to a more normal comic thriller. Quite Ugly One Morning is about an investigative reporter who is thrown into the middle of a messy murder mystery and with the he
Andrew Smith
I normally diet on contemporary American fiction, particularly American crime fiction. I don't often read British authors, though I have made some exceptions; I read to escape not to be reminded of the daily grind. There are two Scottish writers I do really like though (Ian Rankin and Iain Banks) and for some while friends have been nagging me to give Brookmyre a go. I finally succumbed.
I knew this would be funny and clever - it was both - and I guessed it would be somewhat political, which it
This is possibly the most disgusting book I've ever read. :) It was just an amazing amount of fun, though. Like most Brookmyre, it's light modern fiction, takes place in Scotland, and is a bit earthier than most American writing. This one kinda takes that last bit to extremes. Not for kids. But wow, I love Brookmyre's writing, and I've already started the sequal.

This is the first Jack Parlabane book, where he's recently escaped from an attempt on his life in Los Angeles, and has retreated back t
Adrienne Cobb
It seems a lot of people "just happen" to pick up Brookmyre's books and are glad they did. Well the same can be said of me with this one. Granted, I was more of a captive audience, being at the time isolated on a tiny island in the Mediterranean...with a Scot no less! I read this over the course of a few days from a hammock and did on occasion laugh out loud, which is VERY rare for me when it comes to books. I'm throwing darts at you, Christopher Moore.

Sadly the reading of this book was a few y
Brookmyre is an absolute master at writing the most gruesome, revolting, disgusting murder scene and making the reader laugh hysterically at the entire, gory mess. Set in Glasgow, investigative journalist and amateur cat-burglar Jack Parlbane accidentally stumbles upon a horrible murder. Having a nose for trouble, he begins an investigation of the high profile victim that, inevitably, leads to trouble for a lot of people. That's the plot in a nutshell and it's brilliantly executed with some of t ...more
Lilias Bennie
Mar 19, 2011 Lilias Bennie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with a sense of humour and who are not offended by a swear word.
I bought this book for two reasons ... (1) the title reflected how I was feeling that day and (2) first line in the first chapter. Probably one of the best decisions I have ever made as I have been a Brookmyre fan ever since. Tartan noir? Maybe but for me it was funny, witty writing with a couple of good baddies. Yes, the language is a bit choice and he paints a few rather graphic and disturbing images but I'm a grown up and can deal with it. It kept me gripped and I was upset it ended and longe ...more
From the opening scene where a bad chap has one hand bitten off by a dog as he tries to commit a crime, (he later loses the other through an unfortunate series of events) Brookmyre keeps his protagonist and his reader guessing what wonderfully awful thing will happen next. In the spirit of Joseph Heller's wonderful Catch 22, this look at a detective divorcee's tattered life and what he makes of the shreds will keep those of you who giggle at the ghastly fully entertained. Published over ten year ...more
This is the first book in the Jack Parlabane series, though not the first one I had read. This book opens with a description of a murder scene which, though gratuitously gruesome, sets the humorous standard for the rest of the story. Some people might find the incongruity of a mutilated corpse, an enormous (and vividly described) turd on a mantlepiece, and members of the police force doing long-jumps over pools of vomit somewhat off putting in which case I would suggest finding another book. If, ...more
Ash Menon
My first Brookmyre novel. I picked this up because of the rather quirky front cover (featuring a visibly disgruntled James Nesbitt) and because of the dry, British vibe in the synopsis. Loved it from start to finish.

Jack Parlabane is one of those characters you can't help but get along with. He irks you sometimes, amuses you in other ways, and engages in storybook heroics with an almost audible, eye-rolling reluctance.

Brookmyre is a very casual writer, in the sense that you never feel this buil
David Kintore
Gruesome but very funny shenanigans in this novel with Brookmyre’s Jack Parlabane in pursuit of one Stephen Lime, an obnoxious Thatcherite businessman who is fleecing the NHS and seeking to get rich quick by closing a geriatric hospital and flogging its prime site in the centre of Edinburgh to a property development firm.

There is excellent satire in this book about the whole culture of Thatcherite free-market Britain and the madness of allowing allegedly competent business people with no medica
Christopher Brookmyre is a Scottish novelist whose novels mix comedy, politics, social comment and action with a strong narrative. He has been referred to as a Tartan Noir author. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 6 September, 1968 and attended Glasgow University before he turned his hand to writing novels. Quite Ugly One Morning was his debut novel and introduces his character, the wise-cracking, investigative journalist Jack Parlabane. It was the winner of the Critics' First Blood Award for ...more
Stuart Langridge

Quite Ugly One Morning is the book that made Christopher Brookmyre a star in his native Britain, establishing his distinctive, scabrously humorous style and breakneck, hell-for-leather narrative pacing. The novel that won the inaugural First Blood Award for the best debut crime novel in the United Kingdom is now available in America for the first time, and comic crime writing on this side of the Atlantic may never be the same. Quite Ugly One Morning introduces Brookmyre's signature prota

This was quite violent in places but really funny. Although it was first published in 1996, the satire was, if anything, even more relevant now than then. Which could have been depressing if I thought about it too much, so I didn't. The plot was fast moving and it had lots of black humour. The characters were engaging, except for the villians, who were 24 carat baddies. I recommend reading it at home, unless you don't care about snorting with laughter in public.
Isaac Cooper
Okay, this is gonna be a short review. Christopher Brookmyre and I clearly do not share the same sense of humour, or the same concept of what ‘good writing’ is. Good writing doesn’t come across as immature, doesn’t try to be funny, doesn’t dwell on cheap, scatological humour, humour attempting to appeal to the broadest, dumbest demographic possible. Good writing is hard to describe, it’s almost like a rapist, grabbing you by the throat and forcing it’s emotions on you. Wow, what a metaphor… one ...more
This is Christopher Brookmyre's first novel.

Laugh out loud funny. Clever with words. Enjoyed Glesga patter. LOVED this book! Must get more Brookmyre...
Doris A.
Carl Hiaasen-funny with smart plotting and Scottish cadences, this police procedural is a rollicking good companion for a trip to Edinburgh.
Nathan Hurst
Poo. Sick and poo. More sick and some more poo. A fine read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nineteen Seventy Seven (Red Riding, #2)
  • Kingdom Come
  • Stonemouth
  • My Idea of Fun
  • Lionel Asbo: State of England
  • The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
  • The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs
  • The Room
  • Divorcing Jack
  • The Coma
  • The Flying Troutmans
  • The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick
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)
  • Country Of The Blind (Jack Parlabane, #2)
  • Boiling a Frog
  • Be My Enemy, Or, Fuck This for a Game of Soldiers
  • Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks
  • Dead Girl Walking
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 Boiling a Frog

Share This Book

“Parlabane found the word 'pro-active' enormously useful, as it immediately exposed the speaker as an irredeemable arsehole, whatever previous impression might have been given. Once upon a time, he remembered, people and companies just did things. But that ceased to be impressive enough, and for a while they 'actively' did things. Now they 'pro-actively' did things, but it was still the same bloody things that they were doing when they just plain old did things. Meaningless wank-language.” 17 likes
“... when they hear hooves they look for zebras instead of horses” 2 likes
More quotes…