| 7.3°C Dublin

Shatter's raunchy novel now selling one a week


 Alan Shatter. Photo: Tony Gavin

Alan Shatter. Photo: Tony Gavin

Alan Shatter. Photo: Tony Gavin

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has had more bad news, with his raunchy novel Laura failing to impress on the book sales front since it was re-published, shifting only 1,600 copies.

The controversial book, which he wrote 25 years ago, sold 20,000 copies when it was first released.

Now figures from Nielsens Book Scan show the raunchy novel sold only one copy in the week ending March 15 and the same again in the week ending March 1.

Publishers Poolbeg made the decision to re-publish the novel last June after "considerable public interest" was shown in it after the Herald revealed that a complaint had been made about it to the censor's office. It was the first book to be referred to the Censorship of Publications Board in five years.

The biggest number of sales the book has notched up since the start of this year was four in one week.

In all, 1,600 copies of the book have been snapped up since it re-entered the market last year, according to recent figures.

Mr Shatter's novel recounts a romantic relationship between a married politician who is opposed to abortion and his secretary, Colette, who subsequently becomes pregnant.

The blurb refers to Mr Shatter as a "well-known politician, legislator and lawyer".

The Censorship of Publications Board is due to be abolished by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan, but the complaint against Mr Shatter's book must first be assessed.


Last week, a five-person censorship panel was charged to do so by the Government.

The new board includes retired garda officer Philip Moynihan who was appointed by Mr Shatter to the Property Services Appeal Board two years ago.

The board's chairman will be Cork solicitor Shane McCarthy and the other members are barrister Sinead Prunty, lecturer Noelle O'Connor and librarian Georgina Byrne.

One of the more memorable passages from the book reads: "The bottle emptied and the champagne finished, he carried her up the stairs into the bedroom, realising that they were both slightly drunk.

"She lay beneath him on the bed, its soft mattress rising and falling as their bodies joined together in passionate celebration of the decision they had made."