Head of State by Andrew Marr

Saturday 27th September

Time methinks for a book review.  I don’t tend to read that many new novels these days, time was when I read avidly the entire Booker short-lists and for years every winner, but I have slowed down these days.  My eye was caught though by this first attempt at a novel by Andrew.  He had a stroke a couple of years ago, but there appears to be no diminishing of his great mind.  I think he is one of the most astute of political commentators around these days, and he always seems to have a glimmer of humour in his eye, as if he finds the whole political establishment fascinating and ludicrous to the same degree.

So you will not be surprised that “Head of State” is just that – fascinating and ludicrous in equal measure.   The plot is unbelievable, there are too many half-formed characters but the prose rattle along with gusto and carries the rather thin story with it.  Lots of insider information and a broad contempt for almost all politicians and parties make for an interesting if skeptical read.  If, like me, you are a politics addict it is well worth reading.  Though as a serious novel it fails, it has enough amusing lines to keep you smiling.