Top 5 best-selling blockbusters
As Declan Lynch casts his eye over the modern novel, we take a look at the books we bought by the millions in recent times
1 FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
There's only one question you'd like to ask the female lead in Fifty Shades of Grey. What was it that first attracted you to the cruel, sadistic, billionaire Christian Grey? She was probably delighted with her spanking new boyfriend, says you. Ann Summers stores saw a huge rise in sales because of the book. It's a risky business going into Ann Summers in a small country like Ireland. You could walk out the door and bump into Mammy. Worse again, she could be going in. Imagine what you'd imagine. Yikes!
2 WOLF HALL
Wolf Hall was the only book in the last decade that wasn't about spanking, vampires or women who didn't really disappear. Just saying that you have read it raises your IQ by 20 points. It's like Ulysses, except with a plot. And an ending. The BBC adaptation attracted millions of viewers to the latest show about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Most were hoping for a re-run of The Tudors. They all had the same reaction to the first episode. When are we going to see her tits?
3 GAME OF THRONES
The Game of Thrones series of novels was written by George R R Martin. We are not quite sure what the initials 'R R' stand for. There's a good chance that it's Really Rich. The TV series is partially shot in Ireland. We ticked all the boxes - particularly the one that's marked 'Angry Looking Locals Who Will Do Anything to Get on Television.' Game of Thrones is the most contrived piece of fiction that was ever set on our dramatic landscape. At least until someone came up with the idea for the Wild Atlantic Way.
4 THE HUNGER GAMES
This trilogy has a great plot. An evil empire forces a group of young people to fight to the death on live television. Some say that sounds exactly like X Factor. We say that's a bit harsh. On The Hunger Games. Because at least the losers there don't end up travelling around Britain and Ireland, half-way down the bill on the X Factor tour. There's only one song sung on that tour - You'll Struggle to Remember Me Next Year.
5 GONE GIRL
It sounds like a snippet from a conversation in Cork. "Is your sister still here?" "No, she's gone girl." The book, famously, had a twist. The twist in this case being what you wanted to do to the neck of the person who first told you there was a twist. Because when it eventually came, the twist was about as surprising as the boyband on X Factor getting called back when Simon realises he made a mistake. Thanks a lot, twist wrecker.
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