Friday, September 26, 2008

Book Review: 1000 by Gavin Robertson

1000, by Gavin Robertson, is the story of how a couple of corrupt members of a corrupt system find their lives unraveling. Between them Simon Northcott and Buddy Martial have a brilliant scheme which hacks into the Foreign Exchange markets and extracts money in seconds. Unfortunately there scheme does not go undetected and they find themselves in a tough situation.

The premise behind this novel is reasonably interesting but the mechanics of it is so complicated that the author does not even attempt to explain properly what it involves, leaving the reader rather poorly informed as to what is really going on. Likewise, the structure of the novel is such that it takes four or five chapters before one is really aware of what these men do, and the beginning of the book is largely devoted to reconstructing a rather hackneyed back story for the main characters.

At times the book picks up pace and threatens to be a bona fide thriller, but the writing style is so undeveloped one feels that the book was written by a teenager. The dialogue is utterly unoriginal and quite boring at times and like so many pulp-fiction thrillers, there is a litany of undeveloped, incidental characters that it is difficult to feel anything for.

Worst of all is the name "1000" that is given to one of the characters, Kay Nocta, supposedly a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. An utterly contrived and ridiculous name for a hackneyed character and book.

Despite its failings I found myself turning the pages towards the end despite having to force myself through large parts of the book. Having reached the ending, it was quite uninspiring and totally predictable.

I picked up this book in the bargain section of a second-hand bookshop; something which says a lot about its quality. Those who feel like a little light reading may find this readable but don't expect much in the way of style or characters.

Score: 3/10

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