pandaemonium – christopher brookmyre


I have said it before, and I will say it again, I am pretty sure that Christopher Brookmyre is my favouritest author ever.  Which is why I am absolutely astounded to report that this is definitely the worst book he has ever written.

That upset me a lot.

I had the usual screenplay running through my head.  there is the definite twin storylines going on that I have come to expect with him – with two disparate groups of people whose paths are going to cross, and the underdog shoudl come out on top.

My favourite Brookmyre (Be My Enemy) does this so slickly, and so hilariously and gruesomely – but there is something missing from this book…or maybe too much added in.  I can’t quite work out where it has gone wrong.

Basically the two storylines are:  a group of Catholic school teenagers have had an awful experience and they are being taken away to be able to ‘heal’ with the deputy head, a couple of the teachers and the school priest.  They are staying at a remote kind of ‘outward bound’ centre where the can get loads of fresh air and counselling if necessary – the kids are mainly focussed on drink, drugs, bitching and getting off with each other.

Elsewhere, there is a church/military/science experiment going on that is about to go horribly wrong.

There are a lot of theology arguments, and a hell of a lot of  ‘Half Life’ going on, but the build-up seems to go on slightly too long.  I kept wanting the action that you KNOW is going to occur to actually start.  And the ending was disappointing – not the last page or two, that was pretty genius, but the 10-20 pages before that, I wasn’t feeling it.

It’s a shame…but I wont let it put me off Brookmyre.  It was certainly still better than a lot of books I’ve read this year!  Perhaps he should just step away from sci-fi elements.


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