London and the South-East Paperback
by David Szalay
Paul Rainey, an ad salesman, perceives dimly through a fog of psychoactive substances his dissatisfaction with his life- professional, sexual, weekends, the lot.
He only wishes there was something he could do about it. And 'something' seems to fall into his lap when a meeting with an old friend and fellow salesman, Eddy Jaw, leads to the offer of a new job.
But when this offer turns out to be as misleading as Paul's sales patter, his life and that of his family are transformed in ways very much more peculiar than he ever thought possible.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 01/03/2009
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099515890
- EPUB from £4.99
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Review by Kanikoski
Depression, drunkenness, loss, and revenge. Ordinary people living ordinary lives. The wonderful thing is, this is just so readable. Without resorting to odd character traits or wacky narrative inventions (with one possible exception that is introduced so naturally that it is easy to forgive), this novel is captivating and disturbing in a way that something more out of the ordinary possibly could not achieve. The writing is compelling. Dismal, grey Hove and London take on a gritty, pub-oriented reality, yet the focus remains so closely on the point of view of the main character that the surroundings become suitably fudged and the psychological truths are given dark, smoky back rooms in which to play their self-destructive games. It doesn't matter beyond metaphor and plot that the 'hero' works in sales; it could be any modern office job in any modern city. The writing holds a magnifying glass up to the things we do to ourselves in this consumerist, recession-hit age. Man, it sucks!