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The Naked Drinking Club - Rhona Cameron

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Rhona Cameron / Hardcover / 368 Pages / Book is published 2007-03-01 by Ebury Press

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      30.03.2009 20:01
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      I'd rate it 0 stars if I could.

      When I mention that the endorsement on the front of this book is from Heat magazine, ("a sexy, booze-fuelled adventure",) you will have some idea of the quality and style of this novel. For some people, of course, this would be appealing. For myself, this should have been a warning, but even I could not have anticipated how truly awful this novel would be, based on the title and cover recommendation. Please do bear in mind that, in retrospect, I am definitely not the target reader for this novel. Someone, somewhere, may enjoy this drivel: someone at Heat magazine clearly did.

      The back cover informs us that Kerry has 'always drifted aimlessly through life. Rarely having plans of any kind, she gets drunk and things happen: sex, drugs, parties. At the age of 24 she decides all this must change.' Sadly, nothing changes and this basically summarises the action of the whole novel (calling it a plot would be too generous). We first meet the main character on a plane to Australia - or, more specifically, dancing drunkenly in the plane toilet. Within a page she is engaged in casual sex (she prefers the term 'f******') with the stranger who had happened to sit next to her on the plane. By the end of the first chapter, she is preparing to answer a dodgy looking job advert which will eventually lead to a job that basically involves ripping off as many people as possible, in the comfort of their own living rooms.

      Almost totally unlikeable, it gradually becomes clear that Kerry typically uses drugs and alcohol to help her blot out a painful secret. Unfortunately, when this secret is revealed, about half-way through the novel, her actions do not seem justified and simply appear even more superbly adolescent and pathetic than they already did. I couldn't empathise with her at any point, although this could be because her actions are simply so far beyond what I would personally consider reasonable. Even though her lifestyle is chaotic and obviously intended to be dramatic, I found it dull, lacking any real intrigue or suspense.

      By this point, you may be wondering why I continued to read the book. In fact, you're probably expecting to hear about some redeeming feature that inspired me to keep reading despite these incredible flaws. But no. Here is my ridiculous confession: once I start reading a novel, I must complete it, however appallingly dull/ awful I find it. Part of me hopes (sometimes against all reason) that the story will improve; part of me must just be a masochist. (Unfortunately, I typically react to dire films in much the same way, resulting in some seriously wasted evenings.)

      So, do I recommend this book? Obviously not, unless you enjoy reading copious amounts of unnecessary swearing while reading about drunken, drug-related, often violent incidents, all loosely connected by a self-destructive young woman's path to nowhere.

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