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Matt Beaumount is a genius! He writes in a truly imaginative and creative way and tells a cracking good story. Anyone who has worked in a large office should read this – you will recognise the characters! The story unfolds through the medium of emails – and it really works :-)
The idea of the first e-mail novel could have been a disaster but instead is a minor comic triumph thanks to Matt Beaumont’s E. The novel of letters goes back to Richardson, of course, but things have moved on from Regency rape to the lethal office politics of an advertising agency. The beleaguered protagonists may appear to be concerned with pitching for the Coca-Cola account but their real problem is watching their backs: the knives are out and everyone from head honcho David Crutton downwards is well aware that their careers are on the line. Another part of Beaumont’s lineage in this unputdownable novel is the This Life school of detailed interpersonal observation: no one character is allowed to assume centre stage; people screw, argue and discuss professional responsibility while the reader slowly makes his mind up about them from the information conveyed in the increasingly frantic e-mails. att Beaumont, though, is primarily a sharp and witty observer of the social scene, with caustic humour that leaps out of his characters’ electronic missives. And we’re pitched headlong into the situation: it’s impossible not to find ourselves riveted by Rachel, James, Harriet, Daniel and all the rest of Beaumont’s at-the-edge characters as they strive to achieve a common goal and sink deeper and deeper in the waste matter.