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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Book review: The Bootle Boy, Les Hinton (2018)

This graceless memoir is unreadable. The author was for many years a lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch, who is famous for having made money out of publishing news for the stupid and the uneducated (sometimes readers of his papers were both stupid and uneducated). Hinton got a spot on the ABC’s Breakfast Couch to spruik his production to the supine masses.

The title points to the author’s origins in a town near Liverpool, or a suburb of Liverpool. (Honestly, I couldn’t give a rat’s arse.) It’s deliberately aimed at highlighting his working-class origins, which is a part of the boast of Murdoch’s papers: that they cater to the honest people at the bottom. (When in fact they actually promote views that are conducive to the endless pre-eminence of a greedy, rent-seeking capitalist oligopoly.)

Despite having worked in the news business for many years, Hinton has a tin ear and can’t structure a narrative to save his life. The story runs on monotonously like the endless monologue of a paranoiac in the midst of a psychotic episode, with no logical points of reference and no end to the delivery in sight. It’s truly horrifying how dull this book is. I managed to read a tiny fraction of the whole and that was far too much. A complete waste of good money.

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