by Simon Fairbanks, Maria Mankin, Yasmin Ali, Jason Holloway, Livia Akstein Vioto, Luke Beddow, Danielle Bentley, William Thirsk-Gaskill, Sue Barsby and Giselle Thompson
Edited by Iain Grant
What is it about:
Razvan Popescu lives in a flat overlooking the seaside town of Skegness. He keeps himself to himself and few know the man at all. Even fewer know his past, which he has tried to leave behind in the Romanian woods. But when a tattooed man is found murdered on the beach, it is clear that some of that past has followed him to this tacky seaside town. As battle erupts within the criminal fraternity, dark forces gather around the town and Popescu’s acquaintances find themselves dragged into a world of violence, fire and fairy tales. One thing is certain: the circus has come to town.
Ten To One is a novel writing project in which ten authors write a novel together, seeking the approval of a judging panel and a public vote to keep their character in the story.
What did I think of it:
When I was asked if I wanted to read and review this book, I said yes, because it sounded like an intriguing concept. This book is written by ten authors. Along the way authors and their characters could get voted out of the story, just like happens in some reality shows. So when I picked this book up I expected to read a curiosity to be honest.
To my surprise I was treated to a gripping and powerful story about mistakes, regret and redemption.
Had I planned to see if I could figure out why some characters where voted out of the story, soon I was too involved in the events to do that. Yes, characters died, or disappeared from the story, but in such a natural way that I didn't even notice they had been removed, or if I did, I had the feeling there was no other way this story could have gone.
I had my favorite characters of course. Mungo Joey, a washed-up clown, was my absolute favorite, and I kept rooting for him, hoping he would get through this story alive. This being a book where not all characters make it to the end, I will let you find out for yourself if my hopes were in vain or not.
All in all I really enjoyed this book, and only after I finished it, was I able to backtrack and analyse which characters had been eliminated, and guess about the reasons why. I think these ten authors did a great job in making this story a great one. It might have been written as a sort of competition, but when you read it, you sure won't care about that. It's an intriguing, suspenseful, and beautiful story.
If the Ten To One initiative continues, I will most certainly give the next project a try. I will also investigate the authors who worked on this book, to see what else they have written.
Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and suspenseful read.