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Broken Eggshells

Christian Cook

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Writers Club Press

Published : 2001

Copyright : Christian Cook 2001

ISBN-10 : PB 0-595-16543-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-595-16543-8

Publisher's Write-Up

At the end of an alleyway a dark blue Jaguar is found neatly parked into an inconveniently placed brick wall. There is no sign of the driver or any clue as to who they were.

Meanwhile, a group of cynics who are fed up with how futile the world has become decide to pay back society in a series of the most bizarre and pointless terrorist attacks ever (by placing large amounts of explosives in the middle of desolate unpopulated areas).

The world's media attempt to discover if there is any link between these two incidents, or a link between any of a number of random incidents they overheard being discussed down the pub at lunchtime.

Further details of the book can be found on the official website at The website contains a vast array of information supporting the book and encouraging discussion and interaction between readers. The plot of the book itself raises various questions and is riddled with numerous hidden tangents to be discovered and solved.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310701) Rating (8/10)
Review by Nigel (300601) Rating (9/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
I am not quite sure how someone develops such an imagination. I think that they must be either very gifted or mad as a tree full of monkeys. I have to admit, though, that it was well worth the read and I can see a very bright future for Christian Cook.

Bullied as I was into reading Broken Eggshells, I was expecting a Rankin-like journey into nonsense but I was very pleasantly surprised. (Nigel likes Rankin, but I can't get into it, it's all a bit surreal for me - Barry the Time Sprout - what?? Hellllloooo????)

The writing is lovely, with some of the nicest turns of phrase I have read in ages. The descriptions are really vivid, like the man who felt physically so sick that he was outstared by the bowl of corn flakes while watched by the cruet set. You have to smile at such use of the strange vagaries of the English language.

The policemen are probably the funniest bits in the story; you would be seriously worried if you thought that they were in charge of their own shoelaces, never mind the criminal justice system of the country.

I suspect the terrorists (did I mention the terrorists?) are an amalgam of the maddest conversations held in any pub by any bunch of alcoholic students. You just know how the conversation is going to go, logical to the point of absurdity. (Haven't you ever had a conversation like that?)

This is a great book for anyone with a finely honed sense of the ridiculous, it will make you laugh and when it all comes together it will make you go "aaaahhh, so that's what it was..."

It is only a crime that it isn't on release with a publisher in England - if you can make this happen, then you could do a lot worse than grab this guy, chain him to his Mac and make him write you a new book... a lot worse.
Chrissi (31st July 2001)

Review by Nigel
Rating 9/10
Broken Eggshells is described by the author as a 'black comedy in several hues of yellow'. As a big fan of Iain Banks, Colin Bateman and Robert Rankin (not so much black as mad) I was looking forward to reading it as it sounded right up my street.

The novel tells the story of three groups of people and the links between them.

Firstly we have a group of alternative terrorists, Toenails Lodge (they wanted to call themselves 'A large kangaroo with frilly knickers' so newsreaders would have to say 'the explosion has been confirmed as the work of a large kangaroo with frilly knickers'). Secondly, one of the worlds leading Mafia Dons and last, but not least, the Establishment in the form of the Police and HM Customs and Excise.

The stories at first seem worlds apart but all soon meet head on and things become clear. It is very well written with great characters. There are so many funny scenes it would take forever to list them all (well, 396 pages anyway). However, watch out for SOIRRU (Strategic Operational Identity Rapid Response Unit) which has the task of coming up with interesting names for government operations. The conversation between the three retired gentlemen who make up the unit had me in hysterics. Also, the scene where DC Fern is on his way to recover the murder weapon... classic.

The humour is a mixture of Tom Sharpe's farce and Iain Banks's dark observations, yet original enough to be unique in its own right. If you have a slightly warped sense of humour, and you like novels such as Complicity and Wilt, you will love this. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I for one wish Mr Cook every success as I look forward to many more happy hours reading further works in the future.

Booklore received this novel directly from the author Christian Cook. We understand it has been published in the US but not in the UK yet. If you are a UK publisher reading this sign him up quickly!

Nigel (30th June 2001)

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