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Not quite a book review – more a passing thought.

October 1, 2014

Andrew Marr: Head of State.

My love of Andrew Marr combined with my love of both reading and politics – what could go wrong?

With a book opening held at Downing Street and every Journalist and Politician waiting to see how they will be described – was it ever going to meet expectations? Firstly, I must say that despite the bad reviews of this book I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Since I picked it up I’ve raced through it, only stopping briefly to contemplate whether it is realistic or who the characters were based on. After finishing the book this morning and having some time to reflect this is the conclusion I have come to…

The characters are wonderfully colourful, dark, unrealistic and strangely lifelike all in one. The descriptions of the Whitehall circus and the focus on getting and securing power (at all costs) are entirely believable. On one hand it makes you dislike the politics of the UK but at the same time it draws you towards the cloak and dagger atmosphere which oozes out of Westminster.

I won’t spoil the plot for anyone if they are going to read it but I will say this (slight spoiler alert)- I did not see the first death coming! It was doing very brilliantly and the chapters immediately following it transferred the book very quickly into a page turner. The story was good. However towards the end, it felt like it was dragging. There was no big bang. No grand finale. The UK had left the EU and things didn’t seem to be going so well. Although a great amount of emphasis was put on there being a new beginning. The characters seemed largely at a lose end and by the final pages the book seemed to have lost its spark.

Side note time: A nice treat in the book were these quaint little illustrations –

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I would recommend the book to other people but only to other people with a grand love of politics. As you turn each page it’s clear that Mr Marr had more fun writing it than the majority of people will reading it. But, get immersed in the politics, revel in the historical references and allow yourself to laugh at the subtle, but clever wittiness and ‘Head of State’ will carry you along with a relative ease and wanting to stand out.

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