Layer Cake, by JJ Connolly

The lead character in our story, a fairly successful drug-dealer, is approaching his 30th birthday which is when he's decided to retire. Just a couple of jobs and he'll be done. Then he gets asked to do a favour for a senior figure in the crime world, and things start getting a bit complicated.

The story's written in the first person and so (on audiobook) sounds like a cross between Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Goodfellas. You don't get to find out the name of the protagonist, but he talks cockney and swears *a lot*.

I think this book had more style than substance. It was much too long (I think 11 CDs) and there were quite a few sections where the guy reminisced about previous capers that went on for ages: the anecdotes weren't actually that interesting, although the amount of swearing and casual violence did lend them a degree of fascinated disgust.

There was an author interview at the end, and I wondered if maybe it would provide a bit of insight into the story, maybe explain that there were layers of irony there etc., but the author didn't have anything very interesting to say and his answers were also long and rambling (it was noticeable that the interviewer had to interrupt him and prompt him with the answers to her questions when he'd gone off the point).

So I think this was successful because of the way that it's quite a shock to read something written in this way, but I can't see the guy doing much else. And I don't think I'd bother reading any more by him.

Completed : 17-Aug-2006 (audiobook)

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