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The New Sonia Wayward

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 9 months ago

Innes, Michael - The New Sonia Wayward / The Case of Sonia Wayward (1960)

 

Review by Nick Fuller

5/5

This is how the inverted novel ought to be written: no unbelievable sexual psychopaths in dingy tenements here; instead, we have a scathing satire on the literary world (and word). The writing is zestful, the dialogue excellent, the complications shocking and original, and the ending masterly. There are only two points which need a leap of faith before all else follows naturally: firstly, that Colonel Petticate would throw his wife’s body overboard; and that the servants would be professional blackmailers. The title refers to three things: Petticate ghosting his wife’s books; the award-winning ghost-written book; and Miss Smith’s impersonation of Sonia. As amusing as Wodehouse at his best.


Sonia Wayward, a romance novelist, drops dead on her yacht; Colonel Petticate, her husband, slips the body overboard and determines to cover up and write additional Wayward novels himself. Of course, he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into the cesspool -- including a pair of nasty blackmailing servants. Wonderful biter-bit sort of plot and one of Innes's masterpieces.

 

Wyatt James

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