The Ghost – Robert Harris

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This is the second book I have read by Robert Harris. The first, Fatherland, was a great idea for a story, and was cleverly written, but lacked the special spark of a great book. Unfortunately The Ghost  wasn’t an improvement.

The narrator of Robert Harris’s latest book, Adam, is assigned the task of becoming a ghostwriter for an ex-Prime Minister’s autobiography. The person he replaces in this job has recently died in suspicious circumstances. Adam travels to America to interview the former Prime Minister and begins to uncover some dangerous secrets.

The Ghost comes across as an attack on various political polices rather than as a thriller. The plot is slow, and lacks the intelligence of Fatherland. If you are interested in British politics then it might be worth reading, as I’m sure there are many politicians parodied in this book, but I’m just after a decent plot, and failed to find one. 

The characters were flat, and the plot was highly improbable. By the end of the book I was so bored that I didn’t really care about the twist, I was just glad to have finished it.

Very disappointing.

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  1. Sandy says:

    Yuck! I am all into the horror novel, and might have picked this up thinking that was what I was getting. I have no interest in the premise of this one!

  2. Simon S says:

    Oh no I have not long got this (for 50p mind you) and thought it might be one of the books to get me into Robert Harris! Eek! This has gone to the bottom of my TBR book boxes now.

  3. Beth F says:

    Not a genre I read. Glad to know I’m not missing anything!

  4. Steve Rawlinson says:

    I think you might have missed something here. Firstly, the narrator is not called Adam. That’s the name of the ex-prime minister whose autobiography he is hired to ghost. Secondly, the preposterous (but intereresting) plot is the whole point: it’s unbelievable, but on the other hand fits the (real life) facts.

    Adam Lang is Tony Blair. I realise this is blindingly obvious but I”m speaking here to somebody who get’s the narrator’s name wrong.

    1. tony says:

      Your para two – concur – confirmed in Chap 14 – unmistakeably Tony Blair

  5. Jackie says:

    Steve – Yes, you’re right the ex-PM is called Adam – stupid mistake – well spotted!

    I realise he’s supposed to be Tony Blair, but I don’t care. I stated that if you’re really in to British politics then you might like it, but I’m not, and Robert Harris, just created characters which I had no emotional attachment to.

    Sorry, it just wasn’t for me.

  6. Anthony says:

    I was so bored with it I didn’t get the twist at the end.
    What is it?

    1. Jackie says:

      Anthony – Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. I’m afraid that this book was so dull that I can’t even remember what the twist was now! I wouldn’t worry about it – you didn’t miss anything!


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