The Spoiler (2012) Behold the veteran war correspondent: flak-jacketed, steely-eyed, fiercely speaking truth to power. And her venal, vapid, drunk-by-expense-account- lunchtime professional stepcousin, the tabloid writer. The twain… 2012-04-10 Fiction Knopf
Book Review

The Spoiler (2012)

NEWSROOM NEGOTIATIONS Two female reporters at different stages of their careers careen and collide in this satirical narrative
NEWSROOM NEGOTIATIONS Two female reporters at different stages of their careers careen and collide in this satirical narrative
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Apr 10, 2012; Writer: Annalena McAfee; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Knopf

Behold the veteran war correspondent: flak-jacketed, steely-eyed, fiercely speaking truth to power. And her venal, vapid, drunk-by-expense-account- lunchtime professional stepcousin, the tabloid writer. The twain meet, disastrously, in The Spoiler, an acid satire of London newspaperdom in the late '90s. To say too much of what happens when low-rung celebrity chronicler Tamara Sim is assigned to profile Honor Tait, a legendary grande dame of 20th-century reportage, would, well, spoil it. But the often telegraphed plot turns are secondary to the author's synapse-crackling prose: spiky, vivid, and almost pathologically clever (to Sim, a cup of chamomile tea tastes ''like a microwaved urine sample''). As for her merciless portrayal of entertainment journalism? No offense taken, Ms. McAfee. B+

Originally posted Apr 11, 2012 Published in issue #1203-1204 Apr 20, 2012 Order article reprints