Saoirse Sterling's Reviews > Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile: A Mystery

Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile by Gyles Brandreth
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Jan 08, 16

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011, intriguing-but-ultimately-naff, past-has-passed, sterling, masculine, ce21, bookshelf
Read from August 16 to 25, 2011

While I say that I read this novel, I would be vaugely lying. I skimmed it, which was a shame since I really wanted to enjoy this book. Oscar Wilde coupled with a murder-mystery? How can you get any better than that?

It was more the style of writing that put me off. I was determined to not have to put this book on my 'didn't-finish' shelf, because I was actually excited to read it.
First and foremost, the chapter layout was a particular mess, although this is a minor defect considering only the second chapter was off. It skipped from first person from the view point of Robert Sherard to a curious, very biographical and very iffy chapter on Oscar's voyage to America which seemed more like an Introductory note than a chapter and would probably serve better as the prologue or something akin.
I also found it very slow, though I could see that it was trying to replicate the storytelling abilities of the Victorian era.

Aside from the poor writing which unfortunately put me off it completely, the portrayal of Oscar Wilde was quite beautiful and was exactly how one should-and how I-imagine Oscar Wilde would have spoken, acted and looked.
Disappointing, but what can you do.
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