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Utterly Monkey By Nick Laird - Book Review

Published by Harper Perennial 2006

Danny is a tall handsome clever Irish man who has got a degree from Cambridge and is now working as a very well paid lawyer in London. He works long hours but tries to have a sleep under his desk either before during or after lunch most days.

He hates his job and hates his boss, by hiding his bike helmet and turning sideways at the right moment he has perfected the art of getting into work late without being discovered.

On the same day that he gets rid of his girlfriend and much to his joy without tears that he would not have been able to withstand, an old school friend from Northern Ireland arrives at his door step. Unannounced because, they both know, given any choice, any sort of warning Danny by his own admission would have had a water tight excuse.

Geordie has received a punishment beating in the form of two bullets to the calves of his legs for joyriding, selling drugs but really for shagging the local hard mans sister. And for this last misdemeanour he was ordered to leave the country on threat of death.

This is the scene in which the book is set. Geordie has in his procession about 50,000 procured from, yes you have got it, the local hard man who told him to get out and who is determined to get his money back.

The arrival of Geordie amplifies the distance Danny has moved away from his childhood. The book moves between Danny and Geordie growing up in Northern Ireland and Danny and Geordie in London. . I particularly enjoyed the bored way in which the troubles were dealt with. The book also explores Danny and his high powered job where he feels that for a nice house and a very good salary he is losing his soul.

This book is a wonderful insight into the mind of the modern man. It is filled with humour and insight. But there is more here as well this is a book showing the workings of a mans mind. This man is far from perfect, his imperfections are as we would expect, but having said this Danny is a noble man who desperately wants to have meaning in his life and making money for the sake of making it is not a good enough reason for him.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a page turner and very funny. An uplifting refreshing book.

One reviewer compared this author to Nick Hornby but I think it is much better than anything Nick Hornby has written.

Submitted by:

Paul Downing

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