| 15.6°C Dublin

Shatter's raunchy novel back at knockdown price

AFTER a long wait, Justice Minister Alan Shatter's reprinted raunchy first novel Laura hits the bookshelves today.

The shop price will be €9.99, but it was for sale at €6.99 on the publishers' Poolbeg Press, website, poolbeg.com

The web price was cheaper than the Ir£4.99 it first sold for when published in 1989.

"All pre-ordered copies of Mr Shatter's book will be dispatched by today," the publishers said.

"We have had very good support for the reprint of the book from stores like Easons, Tesco, Dunnes Stores, with a good response also from Dubray and other independent book stores," a spokeswoman for Poolbeg Press said.

Asked if it was likely to be one of the year's best-sellers, she said it was "very hard to say" as the book trade is going through a tough period.


"We are very hopeful because there has been a lot of media interest, a lot of interest from bookshops and from the public."

Fifty Shades Of Grey was last year's surprise best-seller, the spokeswoman pointed out.

"Women will enjoy the book. It's written in 1989 but the issues it raises are still very relevant and it has tough questions to ask," she said.

"We've decided to keep the original cover. It has become quite iconic," she said.

Mr Shatter is expected to do "one or two" high-profile interviews to promote the book.

"I don't think he will have the time to do bookshop tours," she added.

When Poolbeg approached him about reprinting the book, he was "very happy with it", she said. The book is the subject of a complaint to the Censorship of Publications Board over its sex scenes.

Earlier this week, Mr Shatter transferred responsibility for censoring books to Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan to avoid a conflict of interest.

The decision is effective for both the Censorship of Publications Board and the Censorship of Publications Appeal Board.

In the novel, Laura is placed with adopted parents after her unmarried mother, Colette James, is abandoned by Laura's father, Sean Brannigan TD.

To her adoptive parents, John and Jenny Masterson, Laura is their daughter and they love her dearly, but their world is turned upside down when they learn that Colette has changed her mind and wants Laura back.

The baby was conceived during a three-month affair between Colette, a Dail secretary, and her pro-life TD boss, Brannigan.

At one point in the book, the fictional TD tries to force Colette to have an abortion to save his political career.

"This novel, full of compassion, anguish and suspense, relates the drama of the fight for Laura's future," Poolbeg said.