From the bestselling author of the Patrick Melrose novels, this is a thought-provoking and entertaining insight into a sniping world of literature, celebrity culture and ambition.
Each of the judges of the Elysian Prize for literature has a reason for accepting the job. For the chairman, MP Malcolm Craig, it is backbench boredom, media personality Jo Cross is on the hunt for a ‘relevant’ novel, and Oxbridge academic Vanessa Shaw is determined to discover good writing. But for Penny Feathers of the Foreign Office, it’s all just getting in the way of writing her own thriller.
Over the next few weeks they must read hundreds of submissions to find the best book of the year, and so the judges spar, cajole and bargain in order that their chosen title gets the recognition it deserves. Meanwhile, a host of authors are desperate for Elysian glory, including brilliant writer and serial heart-breaker Katherine Burns, lovelorn debut novelist Sam Black, and Sonny, convinced that his magnum opus, The Mulberry Elephant, will take the literary world by storm.
Lost for Words is razor-sharp and fabulously entertaining. It cuts to the quick of some of the deepest questions about the place of art in our celebrity-obsessed culture, and asks how we can ever hope to recognize real talent when everyone has an agenda.
Lost for Words is another one of those books that I requested on NetGalley because it looked interesting. By that I mean that the cover looked interesting. Lost for Words – like the cover – is in fact, interesting. It is a humorous parody on celebrity culture and how we use our status to value our own existence. Lost for Words is a funny book.
The interwoven storylines are entertaining and shows St Aubyn’s skill at writing. I personally found that I didn’t connect with the characters but I think that was an intentional point – the characters are so transparent and vapid that it is hard to root for them. Clever St Aubyn.
Overall, Lost for Words is a funny satirical take on modern day society and the importance that we place on celebrity culture. Well worth a read.
Lost for Words by Edward St Aubyn is available now.