H.'s Reviews > Skios

Skios by Michael Frayn
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's review
Jun 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: non-spec-fic
Read on May 31, 2012

Skios is only a middling farce. Thankfully, it is also a first-rate satire.

Nikki, a PR professional at foundation that appears to exist mainly as an excuse to give the wealthy a reason to take out their yachts, has invited Dr. Norman Wilfred, leading academic expert on the scientific management of science to speak at the foundation's annual gala event. But when Nikki mistakenly picks up an reluctant grifter at the airport instead of Dr. Wilfred, (mild) hilarity ensues.

As a farce, it's pretty standard stuff. The beginning and the end suffer for having to concentrate on the standard farcical elements. An attempt to put a twist on the usual farcical conclusion falls rather flat.

But the middle, on the other hand, is pure Grecian gold. It soars because it lets the farce amble on while slinging subtle satirical barbs about. Delightfully, it primarily aims at three groups with which I have intimate knowledge--public relations professionals, intellectuals, and pseudo-intellectuals. Each is successfully skewered. Frayn obviously knows his stuff.

Disclosure--I won an ARC of Skios through First Reads.
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