Be My Enemy, Or, Fuck This for a Game of Soldiers

ISBN: 0349116814
ISBN 13: 9780349116815
By: Christopher Brookmyre

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About this book

It was a junket, a freebie. A 'team-building' weekend in the highlands for lawyers, advertising execs, businessmen, even the head of a charity. Oh, and a journalist, specially solicited for his renowned and voluble scepticism - Jack Parlabane. Amid the flying paintballs and flowing Shiraz even the most cynical admit the organisers have pulled some surprises - stalkers in the forest, power cuts in the night, mass mobile phone thefts, disappearing staff, disappearing guests: there's nothing can bring out people's hidden strengths or break down inter-personal barriers quite like not having a clue what's going on and being scared out of your wits. However, when the only vehicular access for thirty miles is cut off it seems that events are being orchestrated not just for pleasure ... And that's before they find the first body. Thereafter, 'finding out who your colleagues really are' is not so much an end product as the key to reaching Monday morning alive. Visit the author's website at

Reader's Thoughts

Helen White

Laugh out loud funny in a very black sort of way. A totally ridiculous plot that sucks you in. Read this one and you'll find you want more of his books.

Morag Mcdonald

A little bit slow to start but once it got going it was a real page turner. Edgy and funny at the same time. Great satire :D


Probably the goriest Brookmyre novel yet, but one of my favorites, actually. More action-filled than plot-filled, but it went quick and was a fun read.


Good fun, very witty and quick, like a cross between Dick Francis, John LeCarre and Irvine Welsh.


Took me nearly a year to read... But enjoyed it.


Completely mad but fun


pant-wettingly funny and gloriously disgusting


Well, after the previous Parlabane book was all talk, Brookmyre took this one back to the roots of the series as a continuous gross-out fest. I would have given it four stars, except there were spots where he added gross-out bits to the plot just for the sake of sticking them in, without even remotely trying to justify them in the story. Still, sadly enough, it was a fun book, and I liked it a lot.Jack Parlabane is invited to try out the first session of a team-building weekend out in the boonies, in a troubled but recovering inn. He meets the random assortment of folks also invited to try it out, and they actually start having a good time with it, until things suddenly go horribly wrong (as they tend to do around him). It turns out they were all individually invited there for a reason, and their discovery of that reason is the main plot of the book.This actually had the potential to be a good book, but I thought Brookmyre dumbed down the villains beyond belief, and (as I mentioned) just threw in a lot of ickiness for no reason. It felt a bit like revenge on the reader for complaining about the contemplative nature of the previous book in the series.


run of the mill, some good twists but not amazing

Sarah Hurt

This will always be my favourite of Christopher Brookmyer's books. For many many reasons, the pacing, the plot, the deliciously dark sense of humour, the characters.But mostly it's because I cannot think of the pool table scene without laughing. Ayyyeee thangeew.


Another really interesting and a bit gritty plot from Christopher Brookmyre. Well written and funny in parts despite it the story including blood and gore!


If I weren't the kind to finish a book once I started it, I'd have totally missed the plot. Because nothing happens in this book until about halfway through. Then it gathers steam thru spurts of brilliance. Then it goes on rat-a-tat fast, and then... hmmmm. I dunno. Quite Ugly One Morning was a real treasure - this one, nahhh. Didn't quite live up to it.


Be My Enemy = ((Motivational weekend + bampot politics) ^ chaos) x (Parlabane x Vale)This is a perfect Brookmyre set up. Take a group of 'random' people—some annoying as hell, some only slightly so—add Jack Parlabane and Tim Vale. Have Parlabane's derogatory and hilarious commentary for half the book. Then throw in some bad guys and violence, slap Parlabane in an impromptu fun, dangerous and disgusting situation. Hey presto.This book is purely for entertainment, and entertain it did. Humour, suspense and gore followed by more humour, suspense and gore. Parlabane and Vale make an awesome duo, and I wish there could have been more books with the two of them in together.There are twists and turns all the way through. Often I found myself thinking 'It would be awesome/gross/typical Brookmyre if…' only for my 'if' to happen not long later. But in fairness, I also had quite a few 'typical Brookmyre's challenged, while still managing to be quite brilliant.From Boiling a Frog onwards, each Parlabane book I read has made me a little sadder; there aren't many more to read.

Lilias Bennie

I prefer his alternative title for this book .. F**k this for a game of soldiers! Kinda sums it up. Anyway, Jack is back and on good form. After a few books where CB indulges in some political rants, in this one he just concentrates on giving us a good story. Unbelievable but then it wouldn't be a Brookmyre would it? Set in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Scotland, Jack is despatched by his newspaper to go and trial out a new teambuilding weekend. So off he goes in his usual cynical way. Not surprisingly things don't turn out as expected and basically all hell breaks out. One question I have to ask though ***spoiler alert coming **** just what does CB have against HR Managers?!? Do we really have to be killed off first with our headless corpse thrown through a window??? Anyway no more, you will just have to read the rest to find out what Jack gets up to and what he uses when he cannot find a rope. Wonderful nonsense.

Mike O'Brien

Brookmyre is brilliant at using the crime genre to explore major themes. Here he looks at the human propensity to define ourselves by our enemies. He brings out all the complexities of the subject with his usual wit and an approach that is both down to earth, over the top, and surprisingly subtle - and sometimes all at the same time!

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