This is a novel written by an ex-colleague of mine, and he’s been brave enough to let some of us read it. He wrote it in the month of November as part of NaNoWriMo 2013, and so I’m not going to knock the structure or point out typos. With a bit of editing this could be alright.
Much of the novel is set in the ego-filled, somewhat bonkers world of London marketing agencies. We first meet the main characters, who share the narration of most of the novel, on a night out in an over-priced bar that’s full of posing wankers. Mark is in the marketing department of a .com travel agency, Dee works in the client service team of the agency his boss has just hired. Somehow, in this den of over-priced Czech lager and banging house tunes, they identify each other as kindred spirits. Soon they’ve fallen in love, and after a very public proposal, they end up on their honeymoon in Mali. Which is where things go a bit wonky, for our protagonists as well as the novel.
As I said, I don’t want to knock this too much. Andy has a keen eye for the silliness and absurdity of the world of advertising (which is where the ‘!’ comes in), and so he should as it’s where we both work. The romance is sweet too, with Mark and Dee falling head over heels in love really quickly, and Andy captures that special kind of madness well. He does struggle to give the two narrators different enough voices, but that can be worked on. When the action moves to Mali, things lose focus a little with too much time given over to descriptions of long jeep journeys and African sunsets. All in all though, this is a great effort. Writing any kind of novel in November is a lot more than I managed.