Book Jacket

 

rank 2827
word count 80539
date submitted 04.03.2009
date updated 21.09.2011
genres: Literary Fiction, Thriller, Comedy
classification: universal
complete

The BIg Story

Ian Taylor

The Big Story comes as a timely and highly topical satire on the television industry, where the words ‘truth’ and ‘reality’ have quite different meanings.

 

NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Big-Story-Ian-Taylor/dp/1906221294

A new editor has arrived at the BBC’s current affairs programme Worldweek with a brief to take it down market and up ratings. When he learns that one of his journalists has been abducted by rebels on a remote Philippine island, he sees an opportunity for a big story and despatches self-regarding reporter Damien Street, in the company of his ambitious researcher Olivia, to investigate. “Do you think Stanley went looking for Livingstone out of the goodness of his heart? No, mate. He went looking for Livingstone for a newspaper. For a story. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

But he doesn’t count on the competition from freelance reporter Gerry Harris, who’s sold the same idea to Channel 4….and who’s not above a little deception.

The Big Story takes the lid off the world of factual programming in a fast-paced and witty satire. It’s a tale of truth, temptation and the journalist’s eternal willingness to compromise principle in pursuit of a good story. Never let the facts get in the way.

 
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tags

comedy, satire, television, topical

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165 comments

 

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CMTStibbe wrote 1199 days ago

Beautifully written, this is British humor at its best. It had me laughing from the beginning. The dialogue is outstanding, and the characters are larger than life. A vibrant interpretation of Worldweek, a BBC current affairs program, transports the reader to far-away and desperate situations – kidnappings, arrests, the secrets of Debbie’s laundry basket and a faceless silhouette against a brick wall who can’t speak Colombian like the Hyena – you name it, it’s got it. After picturing researcher Olivia Denning-Smith in the shameless act of advancing her career with Felix Porter (AKA excess baggage) I have to say this is one of my favorite books on here. I was crumpled with hysteria the whole way through. Great and fast read. Heavily starred and on w/l. Claire ~ Chasing Pharaohs.

bluestocking wrote 1851 days ago

Oh, gee. You had me at "attractive nostrils." WHAT a fantastic opening. You devil! We love that the guy has been hauled off and we feel so guilty for loving it! Shades of Waugh, of course. I about died when the camera operator is making sure he gets his microphone back at the end. Splendid stuff, so funny, great dialogue ... even the copy is squeaky clean.

O god the chandelier story. Stupendous. After three chapters I literally have nothing to say except, "More please." I am very sorry that I haven't got any insights other than the totally obvious: this is deliriously funny and beautifully written and I shall be promoting it like a Starcraft gamer. Best of luck with this wonderful, wonderful book--Maria.

Lord Dunno wrote 1865 days ago

Ian, I love this. It's like a breath of fresh air. It's funny, it's fast moving and it's really good. I could seee this playing out as a series. I'm having lots of fun with this. Loved the anacronyms. Loved the... ah there's too much that I loved. This is ace!

LizzieW wrote 1150 days ago

This is fantastic! You pulled me in straight away... 'And in the foreground.. a man was coming his hair.' I laughed out loud throughout. Will keep reading and come back with more comments asap!

EmoryWalden wrote 1179 days ago

1 word: funny

plot description got me going! enjoyed chapter 1. chapter 2 switched it up a bit. ch 1 had heavy dialogue whereas ch 2 heavily descriptive in chunks. it was a bit jarring at first - but man, the story made up for it and i got right going.

CMTStibbe wrote 1199 days ago

Beautifully written, this is British humor at its best. It had me laughing from the beginning. The dialogue is outstanding, and the characters are larger than life. A vibrant interpretation of Worldweek, a BBC current affairs program, transports the reader to far-away and desperate situations – kidnappings, arrests, the secrets of Debbie’s laundry basket and a faceless silhouette against a brick wall who can’t speak Colombian like the Hyena – you name it, it’s got it. After picturing researcher Olivia Denning-Smith in the shameless act of advancing her career with Felix Porter (AKA excess baggage) I have to say this is one of my favorite books on here. I was crumpled with hysteria the whole way through. Great and fast read. Heavily starred and on w/l. Claire ~ Chasing Pharaohs.

cicuta wrote 1215 days ago

Dear Ian, a very professional an polished piece of writing. I was tickled by you elucidatory imagination, which is obviously the plan for your pleasant and witty parables. This was such a pleasant read. Really grabs the attention of the reader, with well thought out facts and not without its fun. Please look out for my support. You definitely have a way with words, and a eye for escapism; but all too envelop the reader in your hilarious tale. Good luck with your book and best wishes. Take care, Cicuta, [ Carl, Arcane ].

Ceeds wrote 1227 days ago

Loved the premise. Really like (trans. am jealous of!) yr fluid writing style and the cynicism: terrific! Am popping this on my bookshelf right now. I was beginning to lose the will to live after trawling thru the goblins and vampires! Good luck. (will try to read more this week). Ceeds
'JOE'S NAN'

tecmic wrote 1229 days ago

I was becoming hooked by the first chapter, then chapter 2 and everything changed and swept away my concentration and interest. I just cannot get on with this technique unless executed with the ability to maintain a relationship with the previous storyline. I didn't see it here, maybe it's my problem but I it's how I percieve it.

Su Dan wrote 1260 days ago

effective opening...good narrative, descriptions and dialogue assist this story well ...on my watchlist...
read SEASONS...

joetrip wrote 1262 days ago

As someone who's done his share of time inside a TV newsroom this has the ring of truth, and the sting of biting humor. Backed

Wilma1 wrote 1270 days ago

You have a great opening chapter taking us to foreign parts. This is an interesting look into the world of journalism. I think you create a great sense of tension and intrigue. I could read this in one hit its so engaging.
Sue Mackender
Knowing Liam Riley – I hope you can make time to read some of mine.

Eunice Attwood wrote 1275 days ago

What a wonderful sense of humour you have, along with a creative imagination. Brilliantly written, and backed with delight. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

Laurence Howard wrote 1281 days ago

Great satire. Very funny and haunting undercurrents that the media as a whole world could degenerate into far greater depths if we are not vigilant. I hope your book is very successful. Backed.
Laurence Winchester,
The Cross of Goa

Iva P. wrote 1294 days ago

The promising pitch led me to the first chapter and I was hooked. A delightful read with just the right proportion of reality and cynical humour. Excellent!

Iva P.
Fame and Infamy

stephen racket wrote 1301 days ago

This reminds me of Drop The Dead Donkey, one of my favourite comedies. Clever and witty, the two chapters I read were a delight. Will be back to read more. Backed with pleasure.

Herschel Shirley wrote 1306 days ago

This sounds just like the prototypical press even in America. Loved the first chapter. Very well written. Hope it gets published. I could see this as a classic British tongue-in-cheek comedy. When Andy objected "you can't do that", I was sure the commandante would just shoot him. It was priceless when all he wanted was the microphone gear and even better when the cameraman wondered if any of those present really wanted to win an award. I have always enjoyed British humor (more subtle than American comedy) and this is a great start. Among the better pieces I have read on this site. Backed.

Bonzo147 wrote 1310 days ago

Rattles along with great energy and pace. Opens up a whole new outlook to on location shoots. Backed easily.

Angus Shoor Caan.

Bonzo147 wrote 1310 days ago

Rattles along with great energy and pace. Opens up a whole new outlook to on location shoots. Backed easily.

Angus Shoor Caan.

rommyo wrote 1311 days ago

From incredibly brief perusal (the most important kind for people trying to get published), I'd say British writers produce much better unpublished novels than Americans. Try American agents. Either their standards are lower, or poor intra-nation sales in the British Isles discourage publishing even competent prose, sometimes.

I don't know anything about this, but it might be "The Bonfire of the Vanities" for all I know. I assume it's terrible if you read a bit more, but that's experience talking.

paperbat wrote 1334 days ago

Ian. Decided to load you first few chapters and read over breakfast. Thoroughly enjoying it. Will comment properly later. But just to tell you I will Back it, now.
Would appreciate any comments / backing or sacking of my childrens' book; Paperbat Adventures.
Thanks. Jerry - paperbat

CarolinaAl wrote 1338 days ago

Your brilliant, dynamic comedy grabbed me and kept me riveted. Ingenous. Fizzy. Fun. Crisp dialogue. Spot on storytelling. Backed.

mindrose wrote 1355 days ago

Excellent dialogue, lots of colour, love the cynicism, literate writing, and I'm just giggling at the line above as I type - Manila via Kiev and Ulan Bator. Brilliant!
BACKED with pleasure. No need to bother about a return read, I don't have a book up. Good luck!

Lara wrote 1355 days ago

I've read and backed before, now coming back for later chapters. At 6 it didn't read like satire any more. It was fast moving and easy to get into the nervousness and the dilemma. There's a clumsy sentence - the one which ends with 'OK it's Bluebeard.' You haven't finished this - I do wonder how it will all end. Impressive, backed again. You'll probably find mine too slow moving for your taste.
Lara
Good for Him

homewriter wrote 1356 days ago

Great start to a great idea for a book from an 'insider'. I loved your writing style and the wit and humour you bring to the story. Backed. Gordon - The Harpist of Madrid

Tournesol wrote 1361 days ago

Hi Ian,
It’s often difficult to change the character point of view regularly without falling into the trap of using the first person but you have managed this very successfully, to the extent that I had no difficulty in following the changes of point of view.
Journalist and news reporter autobiographies are one of my favourite types of biographies and, having read many of these, had little difficulty in believing in and sympathising with the characters in your work.
Initially I thought that you might have introduced too many characters too quickly but as read on into further chapters, this did not actually prove to be a problem as your development of each of these characters was such that they were identifiable enough.
At times, in the first half of the book, there is perhaps a touch too much description. I’ll quote some of your own words at you, but would like to change the last verb from “sell” to “tell”

“She spoke quickly and succinctly, not too much detail, just enough to sell the story.”

I think the pace could be quickened a little earlier on without losing any of the meaning of what you are trying to convey. Later on, I did not find this a problem and just kept on reading until I got to the end.

Overall I loved it.
Best.

andrew skaife wrote 1363 days ago

I don't know how I have missed this in the last six weeks that I have been on this site. This would have been worth all the reading on its own!

I will be keeping this on my WL so that I can finish reading it. Well, let's get on with the gushing; if you become embarassed at my tiny flush of admiration... well, tough to be honest.

A very stylish and masterful opening. "For the background there was a mountain.... And in the foreground. A man was combing his hair." The juxtapositions are beautifully tailored.

The way that you take POV from wider scenery, via a mise en scene, through the camera and beyond to those behind it? Wonderful authorial device; authorial control; authroial everything.

The dialogue is stylised comedy of the highest calibre.

That whole section on M.I.L.F and indeed the entire acronym section is glorious.

"Oh, for God's sake this is ridiculous. I'm trying to explain a free press to a terrorist who wants to kidnap me." Fantastic, as is the philosophy throughout.

Your writing is a sort of Will Self and Tom Sharpe wrapped up as a modern day Waugh.

BACKED. BACKED. BACKED.

philip john wrote 1369 days ago

Ah! The wonderful world of television...A very enjoyable read which has guaranteed that I shall look at a lot of programmes in a different light from now on.

Philip John (The Ambassador's Last Post/Dead Reckoning)

philip john wrote 1369 days ago

Ah! The wonderful world of television...A very enjoyable read which has guaranteed that I shall look at a lot of programmes in a different light from now on.

Philip John (The Ambassador's Last Post/Dead Reckoning)

scorselo wrote 1372 days ago

I truly enjoyed your dry humor. The writing was sharp and quick witted. unique imagery

Backed

Scorselo

Joanna Carter wrote 1395 days ago

This is is great read! Your voice is strong and consistent, and kept me reading - and reading. Backed.
Joanna Carter
Fossil Farm

SusieGulick wrote 1396 days ago

Dear Ian, I love that you are giving us the inside of journalists :) - all too many have been killed in getting their story. Great job. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :)
Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"...authonomy quote.
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs.

Famlavan wrote 1399 days ago

I was sure I had read this, but no I would have remembered something this good!
This is stunningly funny and you capture so much with some of the little phrases.
Read up to where Boyle was firing Jonathan and when time prevails will be back for more, great story!

Su Dan wrote 1407 days ago

a very good book, written, and set out well. this is really a specialist subject and you obviously know your stuff...watchlist...
read SEASONS...

Tim Andrewartha wrote 1409 days ago

Hi Ian. This is an amusing insight into the ruthless world of journalism, complete with shallow, shameless characters willing to do whatever it takes to make it. In the first couple of chapters you put the characters in some rather tricky situations which you explain with sardonic humour, promising an intelligent, witty novel. I've put The Big Story on my shelf. Tim (Vitality)

Mr. Nom de Plume wrote 1411 days ago

Don't disturb Felix because it turns out that he's dead. I'm having problems pausing long enough to write these comments because the work is truely wonderful. This work is one of those "can't stop reading ones." The premise is wonderful and the prose just lights it up. I kind of like that industry type talk, sorry. The film crew introduction to the work maybe difficult for a reader to guess the setting unless the "about me" of the author is read previously. Comedy hits hard and well early on in the "professionalism enlightenment remarks." The scene descriptions are great with subtle observations, "millionaire head waiter." This work is highly professional in all respects. Backed. Chuck (Paperboy Adventures & Literary Agent Blues)

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1419 days ago

Really nice pitch with a cover to match.Your writing is smooth and humorous - quite appealing! BACKED - Elizabeth Wolfe (Memories of Glory)

Paula L wrote 1426 days ago

ROFTL - this is great - reminded me a little of Drop the Dead Donkey. Will be reading more but for now happily shelved.
Paula L (Rollover)

zrinka wrote 1427 days ago

I only read chap 1 so far and loved it. I'll come back to this one. Excellent work! BACKED

Claud Samouilhan wrote 1431 days ago

Hi Ian, you seem to have disappeared for a while only to re-emerge, I guess after editing? Anyway, I thought I'd find this difficult to engage with from the opening paragraphs, but your closing sentence of the intro ' a man combing his hair' made me crease up, not least because you tricked us!
A difficult shout to describe such a scenario authentically, but you manage to do it well and the humour is just spot on - subtle and comes at the reader from left field. REally appreciated!
Backed.
Claudia Samouilhan - Fog in Channel

Claud Samouilhan wrote 1431 days ago

Just at the beginning I thought I wasn't going to engage with this, but the last sentence 'a man combing his hair' creased me up , not least because I felt tricked! in a good way I hasten to add.
A difficult shout, to describe such a scene authentically and yet make it funny, and you have it spot on. REally appreciated your skill and subtle humour which comes at you from left field.
Backed.
Claudia Samouilhan - Fog in Channel

Esrevinu wrote 1432 days ago

Ian, the characters are compelling and there was something special about the pace, it drew me in and supported the setting and atmosphere.
I wish you the best
I loved it.
Scott
The Esrevinu Chronicles/Secrets of the Elephant Rocks

DP Walker wrote 1432 days ago

Hi Ian
This is not only a great story, but as you say, also very topical which is likely to draw in a larger audience. You've mixed intrigue and suspense with humour as well which is no mean feat. I genuinely hope this does really well for you.
DP Walker
Five Dares

Bocri wrote 1435 days ago

12 May 2010
09:27
The credo of the site is that readers should provide feedback to authors so that an MS can be improved upon so that it becomes the best it can be. By and large this is an excellent scheme but falls radically short in relation to The Big Story. Any criticism, purportedly constructive or otherwise , is superfluous, redundant, surplus to requirement, unnecessary, and most certainly unjustified. Yes, you've guessed it - I'm a fan! BACKED. Robert Davidson. The Tuzla Run

Leslie Rocker wrote 1438 days ago

This is great stuff. It is so refreshing to find someone who is covering a serious subject with humour. It is what I have tried to do with Adam's Apple. Your subject is television; mine relationships between the sexes - and there isn't a bigger story that that !
I have only read your first two chapters, but thoroughly enjoyed them and on that basis will back it, hoping to get back to the rest later.
Leslie Rocker

Marija F.Sullivan wrote 1439 days ago

Great fun. Great pace. Great writing.
Backed with best wishes, M

- Weekend Chimney Sweep
- Sarajevo Walls of Fate



A Knight wrote 1441 days ago

There's something in this that reminds me of all the best British comedies, the no-shame look at the institution of the media is fantastic. You've made it real, funny, and simple to imagine. Unique yet simple-prose makes this an attractive read for a wide audience.

Backed with pleasure.
Abi xxx

Bamboo Promise wrote 1445 days ago

This is an enjoyable reading. I haven't seen any book like this. After reading 2 chapters, I need to put off so I can back your book before I read more. Wonderful story.

Bamaboo Promise

Lara wrote 1448 days ago

A good opening chapter. I particularly appreciated the witty dialogue. I'd read on any day. Backed already.
Rosalind
Good For Him

Micheal O'Durcain wrote 1450 days ago

I had started writing a comment on this enjoyable book this morning when Auth. collapsed.
Anyway I was going to back it so I will now.
Good luck.
I invite a return
Micheal O'Durcain
Murder on the Manu

Hypo99 wrote 1451 days ago

This is a very cleverly written book and I enjoyed what I have read so far.

Backed with pleasure

Brendan Doherty
The Russian Hat

alison woodward wrote 1461 days ago

love it, its great, it fun and entertaining, backed

alison

Cruse wrote 1474 days ago

This is great. You've got me and it's going on my bookshelf. Clever, well written and funny; what more could you want?
Russell Cruse