Monday, 30 April 2012

Lulu in Marrakech- A Warning

As is my custom and an ingrained habit since childhood, I don’t ever leave a book half read. Somehow it just bugs me, so I always carry on to the end, however painful this proves to be.  Last night I was finally released from the clutches of a 300 page god awful book, which has kept me prisoner for the past two weeks. I am left feeling bewildered by it; both insulted and strangely encouraged. How can such a terrible novel find a willing publisher? But at the same time, this in itself is proof that there is hope for us all. If this book was published, then surely there is a publisher out there for me too!
I now feel the need to review said book, to spread its joy to you, in the hope that you will be saved from the same fate as me (having to read it). Lulu in Marrakech follows Lulu on a secret CIA mission to Morocco, where she is to stay with her recent lover Ian, who happens to live there in a big old house. I don’t know whether it’s intentional, and if so then her profession makes no sense, but Lulu is one of the most stupid characters I have ever met. She is pathetic and clueless and has no idea what she is really doing in Marrakech. She hints from time to time about her many hidden CIA talents, such as being able to make an impression of a key using wax, but other than that she appears to be a complete waste of space. Added to which she is a total racist, insensitive and ignorant to the culture of the country in which she is in.  She makes regular sweeping and insulting statements about Islam, especially regarding terrorists, implying more than once that Muslims could at any time be blown up by close family members. And also with regards to women, Lulu assumes that all female Muslims covering their heads are doing so because they are oppressed, and she feels sorry for them regarding the issue of virginity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are some Muslim women that are oppressed (but certainly not all), and of course the obsession with preserving the hymen is, to me, a bit unreasonable, but Lulu simply has her own, outragious way of putting it. For example:
I tried to remember being a virgin and I couldn’t. That is, there was no difference in me either way; it was exactly the same, and it was terrible to think there were whole continents of poor girls for whom that inconsequential poke might mean life or death.
Firstly, whole continents? Which would those be then? And secondly, inconsequential poke? Speak for yourself luv, haha.
I hoped at least that Lulu in Marrakech would be a trashy romantic romp, but even the love life side of the story is completely glossed over and crap. About a third of the book is spent with Lulu going to tea with her pregnant friend Posy (honestly?).
Three quarters of the way through Lulu is joined by some other CIA agents, who keep her completely in the dark about what they are doing. Regardless of this, however, she mindlessly joins them in kidnapping a ‘suspect’ (of what? I still have no idea). They strip him naked, tape his mouth shut and drive him somewhere, only to find that he has choked on his own vomit on the way there and died.
After this, Lulu goes on a short lived emotional journey of remorse, her main point being that if she knew he was going to die she wouldn’t have looked at the man's willy. Even after the man turns out to be innocent, she still remains preoccupied with her lover Ian- who she has forgiven for running off with another woman in the middle of the book- rather than being riddled with guilt at the murder she has assisted. 
Overall, the book has terribly drawn characters, none of which you feel you know at all by the end. The plot is almost non-existent and hardly includes the reader in what is going on. Terrible.
I am warning you now, that if you choose to open its cover and delve in, you will only have yourself to blame for the consequences.


  1. i want to know why you even picked it up in the first place? the title alone sounds SHIT. who names their protagonist Lulu FFS?

  2. Because it had a pretty cover! and i had no idea the people im staying with would have such a terrible book. but yes there is no real excuse

    ps i can only think of two people who this comment might be by. Either starting with a C or a P. Am i right?


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