Sean's previous books (Sean and Davidâ??s Long Drive, Drive Thru America, My Dam Life, Michael Sweeney's Method) established him as a writer with a unique voice.
Offbeat, innovative, young, flippant, knowing, sarky, informed, surreal and a brilliant user of the English language, his new novel Splitsville is all these and more.
Imagine you are in a relationship and want out. You like your partner. You don't want to hurt them. But you know you want out. And you don't want to have to face the music yourself - all that shouting and screaming and recriminations - not to mention the legal battles.
Now imagine there is a company who will conceive the most outrageous scenarios to set you free. They'll fake your death, play the action out in public with a convincing cast of actors and you at the centre, then spirit you away and set you up in a new life. Set you free. For a very large amount of money. Your ex will be left wishing you were still alive and loving you all the more, and you'll be on a beach in the Bahamas.
But when such a company works at the very highest and most powerful levels of society, there are going to be skeletons in the cupboard of those responsible for such work. Some very, very big skeletons. And sometimes, those skeletons want to get out.
A complex plot is kept neat, tidy and logical in this brilliantly structured work, with all those separate strands coming together in a wonderful climax that deserves to be on film as well as in print.
It's an outrageous concept, yet Condon brings it to life with a believable, funny and beautifully drawn cast of characters.
Breakneck paced, the story rattles along like an express train - the dialogue smart, snappy, funny and machine-gun fast. It's the kind of dialogue Cary Grant would be saying were he making screwball-comedy films today.
The book should, and hopefully will, one day be taken up by a film maker - its written style is very "filmic" and visual - so read the book first.
In a publishing world where we are constantly assaulted by the ghost-written dirges of celebrities, reality TV "stars", TV chefs, teenagers relaying their "life" stories, and other assorted attention seekers, it is great to see a book which tries - and succeeds in being light, interesting, innovative, literate, funny and eminently readable.
Buy it. You won't regret it.show more
by mark s