Reviews

  • "<b>A hearty bloodstained handshake, then, for John Niven’s <i>The Sunshine Cruise Company</i></b>, in which a group of women aged from their mid-teens to advanced eighties get to behave in a thoroughly disreputable fashion…This new novel, Niven’s seventh, breaks with his usual habit of laying bare the male psyche, but <b>retains his celebrated strengths: sparky, unfussy writing; a fast-moving plot; and, most notably, an ability to be thoroughly outspoken about matters sexual and scatological whilst retaining a surprising degree of empathy for the human trials of his characters</b>…Comic fiction that reduces all its personnel to mere caricatures can be a trial to read, but this book, for all the amped-up extremity of the events it portrays, works because its characters get a grounding in emotional reality as well as a bunch of outrageous events with which to contend…<b>Engaging, utterly accessible and boundary-bending</b>: middle-aged chick lit that follows none of the conventions of middle-aged chick lit; lad lit that features no lads. <b>In other words, it’s for pretty much anyone</b>, provided they can stomach Ethel’s vocabulary and the unsavoury details of Barry’s exit from life…<b>It would be a major thrill to see a story like this in movie form</b>. Might the ladies of the <i>Best Exotic Marigold Hotel</i> be persuaded to consider a slightly racier residence…?"

    Independent