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The Crack Magazine

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A Matter Of Life And Death

A Matter Of Life And Death
Paul Carroll, Troubador, £8.99
The death of Princess Diana in 1997 proved to be something of a watershed moment for Britain. Not because it ushered in a less rapacious press, but because it marked – almost to the exact date – the period when people in the UK gave themselves over to excessive weeping and wailing in public over the death of someone they’d never met. Paul Carroll satirises such flamboyant mourning in this novel that focuses on Farren Mortimer, an advertising maverick, who sets up AMOLAD which aims to drag funerals kicking and screaming into the 21st century. His ideas capture the general public’s love of a general misery-fest and he is appointed as the government’s ‘bereavement czar’. There are still people out there, however, who are not all that enamoured with such mawkishness, and, as the first ‘People’s Remembrance Day’ approaches could Mortimer himself come to grief? The author has worked in PR for over thirty years and the inherent ridiculousness that comes with the territory is confidently exposed here. GM

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