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How to Rule the World by Tibor Fischer

How to Rule the World by Tibor Fischer
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“Tibor Fischer is a master of the bitter laugh”, and there are plenty to be had in his sixth novel, said John Sutherland in The Times. His hero is Baxter Stone, a “suicidally disillusioned” film-maker who works in the Vizz, the crisis-struck television industry – and possibly a thinly disguised allusion to the media company Vice. Baxter used to be a director with “ideals”; now he “helms one-hour docs” on bizarre and sensationalist themes, accompanied by his “crew”, a thuggish vegan cameraman called Semtex. How to Rule the World is a “wickedly funny novel about a serious topic” that “will make you feel smarter than you really are”.

This is Fischer’s first novel in a decade, and “bar the addition of several gallons of black bile”, little has changed, said Tim Martin in The Daily Telegraph. Much of the satire is “heart-sinkingly retro”, and the remarks on women are “even dustier”: one gives “tornado-style blow jobs”; another is “in her early 40s and done”. To read this novel is “to hear the authentic voice of FHM and Loaded calling from the Nineties depths”.