Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe


Spin: Martin Sixsmith, July 14—21, 2014
My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

SpinThe former BBC journalist-turned-Downing Street spin doctor Martin Sixsmith has written a novel about Nigel, a former BBC journalist-turned-Downing Street spin doctor.

Spin makes it quite obvious that the author’s experience is being heavily drawn on to create a murky, duplicitous world of politics that resembles the BBC’s The Thick Of It in its unapologetic panic.

It opens excellently with a complete disaster – the disappearance of a young girl on a council trip – told entirely by dialogue in swift scene cuts between the organisers, her parents, the media and other stakeholders in the crisis. Through this panicky claustrophobia, we meet Selwyn Knox who, as Nigel discovers, may or may not have had any part in what happened to her.

Although the novel seems to splinter off quite disparately in the middle, Sixsmith pulls the threads back together with grace. We see the brutal risings and fallings, the shifting of power in the space of a headline. And we see the descent from genius to madness played out before us.

Believable and unflinching, Sixsmith’s Spin is unpredictable and shameless. He knows just what to reveal and when to ensure interest is sustained and surprises knock you over. Sometimes dark, sometimes unlikely, but always intriguing, Spin lets you dip your toe into a world we rarely see, and perhaps just as well.


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This entry was posted on July 21, 2014 by in 4 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare