librarianka's Reviews > Spoiler

Spoiler by Annalena McAfee
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's review
Nov 03, 2011

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bookshelves: recent, women, newspapers, journalists, office-politics, relationships
Read from July 18 to November 02, 2011

Upon the first reading of this book I was struck by how unsympathetic and unlikable the main characters were. However I read this book twice and having gained more distance towards the characters on the second reading I was more accepting of their faults and transgressions. I enjoyed this in depth study of the newspaper world and its protagonists - the journalists. I cringed at the methods used by contemporary tabloid producers whose main goal is to find a scandal and implicate their victim by all means and measures. However the iconic Honor Tait, the intrepid woman reporter whose credits included interviewing Franco and reporting from the trenches of many different wars, turned out to be utterly human and consequently full of faults. The contrasting of the two women reporters, old hand Honor Tait (character that could be loosely based on life of Martha Gellhorn given the many similarities) and young and flaky Tamara Sim who gets the assignment to interview the famous Honor, worked really well. When we meet them they appear as if belonging to two different universes but In the end we find out that both women harbor dark secrets and are not exactly as dissimilar as they appear on the surface. I enjoyed the dark humor in the book and the beautiful prose. I found the portrayal of the decline and old age as represented in embittered Honor Tait quite devastating.

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