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The Spoiler review - Annalena McAfee

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NEWSROOM NEGOTIATIONS Two female reporters at different stages of their careers careen and collide in this satirical narrative

The Spoiler

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Annalena McAfee
publisher:
Knopf
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Behold the veteran war correspondent: flak-jacketed, steely-eyed, fiercely speaking truth to power. And her venal, vapid, drunk-by-expense-account- lunchtime professional stepcousin, the tabloid writer. The twain meet, disastrously, in The Spoiler, an acid satire of London newspaperdom in the late ’90s. To say too much of what happens when low-rung celebrity chronicler Tamara Sim is assigned to profile Honor Tait, a legendary grande dame of 20th-century reportage, would, well, spoil it. But the often telegraphed plot turns are secondary to the author’s synapse-crackling prose: spiky, vivid, and almost pathologically clever (to Sim, a cup of chamomile tea tastes ”like a microwaved urine sample”). As for her merciless portrayal of entertainment journalism? No offense taken, Ms. McAfee. B+

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