2009 Richard and Judy Book Club

Stalking Richard & Judy – Valentine Honeyman

I am a massive fan of Richard & Judy, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. The central character is Jeremy Canty, an author who has written many critically acclaimed novels, but has failed to sell many copies and so is struggling with his finances. Richard & Judy announce their latest book club choices and he is shocked to discover that one of his biggest rivals has been selected, and so will no doubt end up topping the fiction charts and securing his future. Jeremy is incredibly jealous and so decides he’ll do anything to ensure his book ends up on the next Richard and Judy list.

I loved the first chapter of this book. I was crying with laughter as I read the descriptions of Richard and Judy. The gentle parody was spot on, and the descriptions of their affect on the publishing industry was fantastic.

Now imagine this. Every so often, two fairies fly round the country. From time to time they pick a cleaner out of the blue and touch their polyester pinny with their magic wands. And lo! Those cleaners become millionaires. Millionaires! Can you imagine what that would be like? Well, that’s exactly what happens to a starving writer when he or she gets on the R&J book list. Richard and Judy are those fairies, and when they touch a lucky writer with their magic wands, she casts off her polyester pinny and goes out to buy a new one. At Versace.   

Unfortunately Richard and Judy weren’t present in the majority of the book – Jeremy stalks the person responsible for creating the list, and not R&J themselves (as the title suggests). This is probably more realistic, but far less entertaining to read about. There were a few funny moments, but I found that much of the book was light and fluffy, lacking that special spark present in the first chapter. There were also a few times when I thought it over stepped the mark – the abuse of Gillian McKeith, in particular, went a bit too far.

It was nice to see that the Jeremy was gay, as I have seen very few books with a gay central character and some of his antics were quite amusing! This book does contain a lot of sexual references and swearing, so should be avoided by anyone who is sensitive to that sort of thing.

Overall, this was a light, entertaining read and I recommend it to all Richard and Judy fans.


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