Book Review, Thriller

Oscar Wilde and ring of death by Gyles Brandreth

n258488 I didn’t know that Wilde has been positioned as a detective since I saw this one. That was the only reason I picked up this book!!! Oscar Wilde is one of my all time favourites. Its difficult to find a wit better than him even after a hundred years. I was curious to see how he has been treated in this new avatar.

Having finished the book, I am left with mixed feeling. The book is good overall, though as a detective novel, in my opinion, the book is not a scratch on the Poirots and Holmes of this world. The book is not racy and I found myself yawning through many parts of the book. The twists in the plot are not breath-taking and Wilde’s actual detection abilities are not on display. There is no Poirot flourish or a Holmes ‘its elementary’ moment. That is the book’s biggest weakness. You may capture the reader’s initial interest by putting Wilde in the unlikely role of a sleuth but if the story is not fleshed out properly, the great playwright’s aphorism wont save the day.

Which then brings me to the reason why I feel this book drags. The author tries too hard to bring Wilde’s personality on the pages – to the point that it feels artificial. Its distracting to be thrown an aphorism, which does not fit in the context, in the middle of a developing plot, just because the author felt that its time to remind the reader that its Oscar Wilde on the stage.  The personality of Wilde is brought on too strongly and is never allowed to mesh itself with the plot, with the result that Wilde seems like an outsider at times to the developments. What is more frustrating is that Wilde is never shown to have any great or unique detection abilities – as if charm and witty saying is enough to solve murders.

Its a pity because there was so much potential in the story and in the plot. You not only had Wilde but you also had other famous historical characters like Arthur Conan Doyle in the story (they being in the circle of friends of Wilde). The author could have informed and amused and given us an unforgettable story. Instead he tried too hard and all of it comes out as a bit of a farce…

Which, as I said, is a pity…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s