Author: Paul Hoffman
Publisher: Red Opera
Publication Date: 7th September 2017
Note: This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
After an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider goes horribly wrong, depressed scientist Aaron Gall wakes up to discover his mind and body have undergone an astonishing transformation. Now bursting with the joys of life, he is inspired to undertake a radical new therapy: to talk to the priests who brutalized him and his school friends, point out the intellectual dishonesty and inhumanity of their religious beliefs – and then eat them. Aaron enjoys the process so much (as well as taunting the police and MI5) he decides to extend his murderous conversations to include the Archbishop of Westminster, recently converted Catholic Tony Blair, the Queen of England – and, finally, the Pope himself. But a Catholic Church that has given the world the Crusades, the Inquisition, and Papal Infallibility hasn’t survived for two thousand years without a reason. Aaron is in for the greatest shock in the history of mankind.
What I Thought:
Just after I started reading Scorn at the beginning of the week I included it in my WWW Wednesday post, I was a couple of chapters in and I said I thought the book would be a marmite book, people would either love it of they would hate it. Despite that statement I ended up smack bang in the middle, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either, I do still predict that this book will be hugely divisive.
So what is Scorn about? Aaron Gall is a physicist working in Geneva as part of the team working at the Large Hadron Collider, when there’s an accident and a small black hole opens up in the middle of his brain leading to the events of the book, which sees the murder of a number of people linked to the Catholic church.
The book deals with the very topical subject of abuse, sexual, physical and mental, of children by members of the Catholic Church, it’s a controversial topic, and it’s certainly dealt with in a quite controversial way! I understand things than happened to Aaron and others, both in fiction and reality, was terrible; and the part of me that studied Psychology at university has a very basic understanding of things that could happen as a result of damage to the amygdala occurs, but what happens in the book can be brutal, and graphic, it’s not a book for the fainthearted!
Things I liked – I liked the two police officers, Scrope and Lister, their banter amused me, both from wealthy families they served together in the military before being fast tracked into the police, and safe to say not the most liked by the rank and file of the force.
I also liked the random doodles throughout the book,I had a proof, so I’m assuming they remain in the finished edition. I liked the way they broke up the text slightly, it’s a big book!
I also liked the cryptic crossword clues – I have a friend who likes reading the answers to cryptic crosswords and then trying to figure out how you were supposed to get there from the clue, I’m not the biggest crossword puzzler but I did enjoy trying to figure them out!
For full disclosure I have to admit there were also aspects of the book I wasn’t keen on. Firstly throughout the book there are frequent sections where the author speaks directly to the reader. I know that there are people out there who won’t mind that in the slightest,and there are people who will love it. For me, I felt it pulled me out of the main story line each time it happened. In a similar manner there were quotes between each of the chapters, in some cases relatively substantial blocks of text, which while relevant to the overall themes again tended to pull me out of the story line.
Finally a number of real people appear in the book, including The Queen, Tony Blair and The Pope. I read a lot of crime fiction and thrillers and don’t consider myself squeamish, but having things happen to real people made parts of the book a little uncomfortable for me.
Would I Recommend?
I would very rarely tell anyone not to read a book, and I’m not here either. Yes I had some issues with it, but I also enjoyed some of the dark humour and I’m just one opinion in a very large world. As I said I think this book as the potential to be controversial, I’m sure some people will find it to be anti-catholic, but I would encourage anyone who is interested by premise of the book should pick it up and give it a go, then come back and tell me what you thought!
Want To Buy It?
Scorn by Paul Hoffman is published 7th September by Red Opera, £7.99 in paperback.
Be sure to check out posts from other people on the tour over the next few days!
If you’ve read Scorn I’d love to know what you thought! Let me know in the comments!