No Good Deed
Picture a book that’s like a perfectly shaken cocktail of satire, humor, and a touch of drama – that’s “No Good Deed” for you. John Niven whips up a story that’s as tantalizing as the gossip in a high-end London club, but with the depth of a late-night heart-to-heart in a dingy pub.
The story kicks off like a modern-day fairy tale gone rogue. Alan, our protagonist, is the guy who’s made it – a successful journalist with a life as polished as his silverware. Then comes a twist of fate: he bumps into Craig, a homeless man who turns out to be an old school friend. What starts as a good deed, spirals into a life takeover. It’s like inviting a cat into your house only to find it’s a tiger.
The Satirical Setting
Niven paints Alan’s world with the colors of satire – a canvas of Notting Hill-esque sophistication, dripping with nepotism and champagne. It’s as if you’ve been given a backstage pass to a world where columnists rub shoulders with aristocrats, and the air is thick with the scent of privilege and organic kale.
The Character Study
Alan is an intriguing puzzle – a working-class lad turned affluent insider, awkwardly straddling two worlds. His character is like a chameleon, adapting yet always aware of his true colors. Craig, on the other hand, is the wildcard – a reminder of Alan’s past and a mirror to his present. Their relationship is a deep dive into the complexities of friendship, revealing how old dynamics can haunt us like ghosts in our adult lives.
Niven’s humor is the cherry on top. He’s not just funny; he’s ‘laugh-out-loud-on-the-train-and-get-weird-looks’ funny. His writing is a blend of the scabrous and the scatological – think of a stand-up comedian who’s read too much Dickens. The novel is a circus of comic set-pieces, from rock star debauchery to plumbing disasters.
The Duality of John Niven
Reading “No Good Deed” is like watching a tennis match between two sides of the same player. On one side, there’s the John Niven who delivers farce and frenzy. On the other, there’s the reflective Niven, musing on friendship and the human condition. The two voices dance around each other, sometimes in step, sometimes not, but always compelling.
“No Good Deed” is more than just a romp through London’s media elite. It’s a novel that makes you laugh, then makes you think, and then makes you laugh again. Niven juggles the ridiculous with the real, serving up a story that’s as flavorful as a well-aged whisky – with just as much kick. So, if you’re in the mood for a book that’s part comedy, part character study, and all entertainment, give “No Good Deed” a read. Just be prepared for some splatter marks along the way.