Service Wash – Rupert Smith

I have met the delightful Rupert Smith a few times at the London Gay Literary Salon ‘Polari’ and I decided that I should give one of his books a go, and the one that leapt to my attention from the cover was Service Wash whihc looks very unusual with a named man on the cover in a laundrette.

Now my next point simply has to be a small bone of contention to the publishers for why they have put a cover like this on this book when it has absolutely nothing to do with the storyline what-so-ever. This is nothing against Rupert at all but it just makes you wonder what the marketing department were thinking of. If Smith’s book hadnt been so delightfully funny I would have said that they were trying to sell this book with sex, this isnt the case.

Sorry… I digress. This is the story of Eileen Weathers (who would be played fabulously by Ann Mitchell of Widows fame if this ever became a one off TV drama) who is like a younger Vera Duckworth kind of soap legend. She is at the peak of her fame and writing an autobiography that’s going seriously wrong, so Six Books part fo the soap franchise hire Paul Mackrell to ghost write it, Paul isn’t having much luck with literature and so decides to give it a go. What follows is a farce of mayhem, money and murder.

I really enjoyed this novel it made a nice break to have a book on the go that made me laugh and was all about the complexities and materialism of celebrity not some harrowing complex tale of loss love and betrayal – which I love you just need a break sometimes. Some people call this throwaway literature or a ‘good holiday read’ I call it entertainment as it entertained me for a good several hours. I did find the twist with Paul and Elaine towards the end a little hard to swallow as Paul was menat to be a gay man but it was still very very witty.

Smith writes this book with a knowing edge, he has indeed ghost written an autobiography, written several TV-tie-in books and other novels you feel there is a lot of him in Paul. I would recommend this when you want some frivolous fun. I will be reviewing some of Rupert Smith’s alter ego James Lear’s novels in the next few weeks.


~ by greatgayreads on May 20, 2009.

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