Ghosts: Dolly Alderton’s debut novel haunts, but not in a good way

Book review: There are barbs and biting observations, but the humour falls flat in this story about a 32-year-old food writer’s dating disasters

Dolly Alderton has published her first novel, called Ghosts. Photograph: Jo Bongard

Dolly Alderton has published her first novel, called Ghosts. Photograph: Jo Bongard

Never let anyone claim that being a critic is a soft job, I constantly put my life on the line. For example, just the other day I was leaving Mile End tube station when I felt the whoosh of a bullet miss my head by mere inches. When I turned to gather the source, I saw John Banville hurriedly escaping into a Skoda. A similar event befell me a couple of months ago when I found a dead rat in my sock drawer, a crumpled sheet of paper from “the desk of Edna O’Brien” shoved beneath the rodent corpse.

Oh it is a lonely life in the literary trenches, a life surely to become even lonelier as I must report that Dolly Alderton’s debut novel brought me nothing but pain and disappointment.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.