A Quick Review Roundup

Monday, June 08, 2009, 11:38 PM

You know what the hardest thing about daily blogging is? Remembering to bloody do it. Anyway...

Early reviews for THE TWELVE are starting to creep in. Here are a few highlights:

Just today, Gerard Brennan posted his thoughts over at Crime Scene NI. Gerard mentions, as a few people have, the genre hopping aspects of the book. Yes, it's a thriller first and foremost, but there are paranormal and horror elements in there too. The review also touches on the book's politics, and I'll come back to that in a moment.

And yesterday, of course, I linked to my friend Betsy Dornbusch's review. Then there's the inimitable Josephine Damian's take on things, which I've just realised I hadn't linked to from this blog until now. I linked it from Facebook and so on, but neglected to do it here. That was very remiss of me, so apologies to Josie, particularly in light of her kind words.

There have also been five star reviews cropping up at Amazon.co.uk, Waterstones.com (be sure to click on "Read all customer reviews"), and Play.com, arising from the proof copies sent out by he excellent marketing and publicity folks at CCV/Random House.

I said I'd come back to Gerard's points on politics: Over recent days I've been doing little bits and pieces of publicity work, answering questions, writing small pieces for websites and newspapers. People have started to raise the issue of THE TWELVE's politics. I'm told on the grapevine that some press reviews are going to highlight that aspect.

I never intended THE TWELVE to be a polemic. But there's no getting away from that side of the story; everything about Northern Ireland is political, whether we like it or not. So, at some point in the coming days I'm going to tackle this issue directly. It's not going to be easy, seeing as controversy is intrinsic to politics in this part of the world. But I want to air the topic and perhaps give a better picture of the novel's background. Until then, however, I think Betsy Dornbusch's line is my favourite: "THE TWELVE is the conscience of Northern Ireland."

I wouldn't put it quite so emphatically or dramatically, but the novel is, right down at its core, about guilt. More to follow...

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Blogger Josephine Damian said...

Err, you did post a link to my review a while back. You tacked it on as a link to a post you'd alreasdy put up.

Was wondering when you were going to talk about "the elephant in the room." The Troubles started heating up almost to the day most of us received the ARCs. It was as if THE TWELVE was being played out, for real.

12:13 AM  
Blogger McKoala said...

If I can ever prise my copy out of Mr Koala's hands, I will be reviewing it. He reads soooo sloooow. However, the good news is that he is absolutely loving it - and he knows his political thrillers.

Here's a question that has crossed my mind - when you were writing The Twelve, did you at ever point think, 'hmm, I wonder if this could get me into trouble'?

5:01 AM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

Remember that time I told you I worried about guys with bats aiming for your kneecaps? Remember?

It's funny. That's a line I thought when I first read the book. I wonder that I never told it to you. Or maybe I did and it's been long enough I've forgotten.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Josephine Damian said...

Sex and McK, Stu thinks I'm a pain-in-the-ass/stalker because I constantly check his blog and FB page, but what goes through my mind when he doesn't post anything, anywhere for more than a day is: Have they gotten to him?

This book is incendiary, an indictment against certain individuals and ideologies. Ever since the events of March, I've been quite concerned for Stu.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Jamie Eyberg said...

As far as politics in writing goes. It is becoming harder in the 24 hour news cycle to keep politics out of our daily lives, no matter how we try. Also, everyone has views, including the characters we come up with, they are as much a part of the character as their hair color, body type, and what kind of gun they prefer to carry.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

As you say, everything about Northern Ireland is political. Looking forward to your upcoming post. :)

9:38 PM  
Blogger Stuart Neville said...

Thanks, everyone. There will be a couple of more considered posts coming over the weekend, I think. I don't want to delve too deep into the politics of the book, largely because it's too easy to offend people here, but also because in my experience people will read things into a book that you never intended. That's been one of the most surprising things about being published. I think I'd prefer to let people find their own interpretations. But, as Josie points out, I can't not address it.

11:09 PM  

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