6 Aug 2010
"A Vicious Circle" - What Comes Around Goes Around
I picked "A Vicious Circle" a bit randomly thinking that it sounded interesting and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Now, I am a bit of an anglophile and I really love London so that face that the novel takes place in London in the 1990's is a definite plus in my book.
"A Vicious Circle" is the story of a group of Oxbridge graduates in their 20's and 30's who all have ambitions to do with the media world. Mostly they just want to make it, whatever "it" is. However, it is not all smooth sailing.
Mary Quinn (who is really the key figure) is an Irish waitress in a relationship with the ambitious journalist Mark Crawley, wants nothing more of life than to be married happily. At least that is until Mark leaves her for the heiress Amelia de Monde - then Mary wants revenge. Mark wants to climb the social ladder and his colleague and friend Ivo Sponge (famous for making a "Sponge lunge" on the ladies whenever he catches a chance at it) wants Mark's job by whatever means he can get it. And then there is Grace, a singly mum of 20 years living in a run down council estate with her little boy Billy and whose biggest ambition is to survive. Into this mix comes a young doctor who really just wants the best for his fellow human beings and a struggling author.
All these characters are interlinked and their paths collide again and again. Fortunes are made and lost, love blosoms and dries out again and ambitions are ruthlessly hunted.
I really liked the book - as in liked it so much that I found it hard to put it down.
While many of the characters are not really that likeable and some are actually downright annoying, they are all fascinating in their own way.
If you like "Starter For Ten" by David Nicholls, there's a good chance that you will also like "A Vicious Circle".