Shriver by Chris Belden

shriverBetter late than never, right? Ok, so I read Shriver by Chris Belden a couple of weeks ago and I’m writing up my review now, so the detail may be lacking. Shriver is based on a promising premise: our Shriver is a reclusive man who is mistakenly invited to a writer’s conference as the American literary sensation SHRIVER (think Salinger) and of course he accepts. Hijinks, literary pretensions and a mystery ensue.

Give me a satire about a literary conference and I’m in. I really liked Shriver to start with. There is a great cast of quirky characters and some laugh out load moments, but by the second half i was struggling to go on. That may reveal more about me than the book – I’ve been struggling to finish everything lately.

Who would like this book? Shriver is a good light read that I suspect would be great on an airplane. For me the real downside of Shriver came not because of the book itself, but because of something else I’ve read. Shriver‘s premise is an awful lot like Skios by Michael Frayn, which I preferred. Both deal with mistaken identities at conferences. Actually, we could probably add The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs by Alexander McCall Smith to the list as well. Who knew this was a popular literary trope?


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