Book Review:The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce

The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce by Paul Torday (Weidenfeld & Nicholson) ISBN: 978-0-297-85293-3

Paul Torday’s debut novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing. It was serialised on radio, and appeared on many UK lists of summer reads, including the coveted Richard and Judy endorsement.

Readers expecting more light comic relief will be disappointed with his second novel. I was delighted. Wilberforce is a 37-year-old IT engineer, who sells his business to drink. This isn’t as odd as it sounds. He did, after all, buy a house with an underground wine cellar for a million pounds. This included 100 000 bottles of priceless wine.

Wilberforce is not an alcoholic, but he’s determined to drink it all. Why does he do this? You’ll have to read this beautifully written novel to find out. The characters are drawn with style and depth. The fact that we know the ending in the beginning and still have to read on, is testament to clever pacing and story-telling at its best.

Torday may not be the best researcher, and his facts on wine and the consequences of wine on the human body may be sketchy. This would be of concern to a middle aged book critic at a staid newspaper, but for readers who love a good read, it would be looking for mistakes that aren’t important to the story.

Amanda Patterson

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One Response

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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