Hello, people of the internet!
First things first, I should mention that one of the best ways to pass the time when waiting in queues at Disneyland Paris, or any other park for that matter, is to discuss books. When I was waiting in line for the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster with a friend of mine, she recommended Julian Clary’s books and we ended up spending the majority of the wait discussing his work. She is a huge fan of his fiction and said she would lend me a copy of one of them at some point.
That some point occurred a week ago.
Title: Devil in Disguise
Author: Julian Clary
Publication Date: 7th May 2009
Publisher: Ebury Press
How far would you go for fame and fortune?
Would you change your name?
Change your personality?
Reveal your inner drag queen?
Betray your friends?
I haven’t read anything like this before, which means this book is already in my good books (pun not intended). It’s definitely fabulous in many ways, but it’s also very dark. None of the reviews on the cover and back of this copy mention how dark it goes. It’s not an unpleasant surprise and I believe it works to the story’s advantage. Of course, like these reviews already mention, it is outrageous in the best way possible. For example, the drag queen’s name is quite funny. I won’t spoil it here, but it doesn’t disappoint.
This book is very slow-paced and spends the majority of the book setting up characters, backstories and situations for the climax. It may spend too much time doing so and some may find this boring, but I feel with this kind of story, it was done incredibly. It’s well-written throughout with a variety of interesting characters, witty remarks and a shocking betrayal. Believe me when I say once the story begins to pick up, I felt for the characters and wanted to see what would happen to them. The ending is so gripping, shocking as well as touching, it makes the slow beginning and middle of the book worth it.
I personally did not find Devil in Disguise laugh-out loud funny, but it is definitely witty and I did find myself smiling at these moments. The friendship between two of the main characters, Molly and Simon, were particularly fun to read and I absolutely love their friendship.
Speaking of characters, every character was well-written. The ‘devil in disguise’ character is extremely devilish and is now one of my favourite book villains. As for Molly and Simon themselves, they were written in a way that makes them likeable and interesting, they also have negative traits, which makes me all the more realistic and individuals. I have not encountered characters quite like these lot and I doubt I will ever forget them.
The plot itself is a little far-fetched, but this isn’t distracting at all. The way Julian Clary writes this allows the plot to work. In that, as I was reading it, I didn’t immediately stop and think to myself, “Yeah, that wouldn’t actually happen in real life”. Instead, I was so wrapped up in it, it was only after I thought about it did it even occur to me. It’s still enjoyable and emotional.
I’m giving Devil in Disguise 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is definitely an emotional rollercoaster of a book. I honestly can’t wait to read more of Julian Clary’s work. I have a strong feeling he’s one of my favourite authors of all time – and I’ve only read one book of his so far.
Not that’s saying something.
Thank you for reading!