• The Write Way

Review – Postcards From Pimlico by Paul Barrell

Reviewing books can be hard. A book can be three things: Absolutely fantastic, absolutely awful or “meh”.
Writing a piece on the first two categories is easy. I would even say that the piece almost writes itself.
But when a book is “okay”, I need to go and find out what it is that made this book less than great but better than bad.

Postcards from Pimlico is an okay book, and after weeks – maybe even months, of asking myself: why is it that I lost interest in this book. What made me put it down and not look at it again?
I know that I am bored easily and that I need books with a spot on pace to keep me interested.
But the pace was fine. Every now and then, the pace slows down and the story stutters a bit, but it was something I could live with.
All in all, it was a product of bad editing rather than bad writing.

But there was something else and I was unable to put my finger on it.
Even though the characters started out incredibly two-dimensional, over the span of the story, the author gave them a bit more soul and substance.

But what is it that, from the start, made me think: I don’t get this.
Even though the whole book might benefit from an extra edit, I did not find any major mistakes – except some weird Punctuation.
And then I was walking down Fleet Street, thinking of how much I came to dislike London and how I have always felt like a stranger. Then it hit me. That is how the book made me feel.

This book is about three friends reuniting after 12 years. They lived in 1980’s London. The book is filled with inside jokes and anecdotes and cultural references that I, as an outsider, don’t get. I was born too late (I am a 90’s kid) and in the wrong country (Belgium) to truly appreciate this book. Maybe I was even born in the wrong gender.

That’s it. The book did not connect with me because it was written by someone who looked back at his own “good ol’ days”.
So if you were a twenty-something in the 80’s and if you want to indulge in your wilder years, this might be a fit for you.

Not so much for me.

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