Dave Roberts is a towering literary genius. And I'll tell you why.
I bought his book out of pity, if I'm honest. He left a comment on my blog about internet dating. It was nice enough, his comment, but he berated me for not having mentioned his book. I looked at his blog a bit, and then we started corresponding; I can't remember what about (probably something like "who'd win in a fight? Marmite or Vegemite?"). Inevitably (and cautiously, like the first bluebell struggling to see spring's first light in a gloomy wood), the subject came round to whether I'd read his book or not.
I tried a bit, but in the end I had to buy it. So I did, off of Amazon. Bought two by mistake, as it goes. I looked at it for a bit, then thought I might as well read it. I'd finished "A la recherche" that morning and needed a bit of light relief, to be frank. Anyway, I read it. And read it. And emailed Dave at 4 in the morning saying: for FUCK'S sake, I can't stop reading it. He didn't reply.
I finished it in about 5 hours. I read fast, you see. Then I wrote Dave an email:
What happened? Did you meet Charlotte? Where did you meet your wife, if your wife isn't Charlotte? You can't just STOP it like that, in the middle.
Oh yeah, the book's good, by the way.
Dave wrote back the next morning and pointed out that he'd made most of it up in his head. I thought it was real, and I read it in one go. And for me, that means it's good.
PS I only finish books that are funny, well-written (mainly, unless I feel like cheering myself up by buying 20p chicklit books from charity shops and burning them), and clever. So I'm not sure why I liked Dave's but still, we all have our off-days.