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James Smith, born in Surrey, England, grew up in South Africa where his father worked for NASA as an electronics engineer. His family returned to England in the late 70′s. After spending ten years in the defence industry working on top secret projects, he left to pursue interests in film and writing.
A keen guitarist, windsurfer, skier, and traveller, his thirst for inspiration has seen him trekking through rain forests, playing gigs in smoky pubs, sailing with drunken skippers on racing yachts, and hanging out with surf dudes on the beach. All fine material for the humour that laces much of his writing.
As well as involvement in film industry-related writing, fiction and autobiographical novels, James’ freelance work encompasses music and film reviews, travel writing, and blogs for online fashion and media magazines.
on July 13, 2012 :
The first thing that attracted me to this book was the title; the second thing was the cover - it made me chuckle before I'd even started reading.
In At The Geek End is a real 'fish out of water' tale. Our hero, James, falls into computer programming for want of anything better to do, but would much rather be a professional surf bum. That he finds himself working in the defence industry on top secret projects adds to his bizarre experiences.
It is something anyone who has worked in an office can relate to: crazy colleagues, anal retentive bosses and nutsy nerds, but in this case, these characters are all - worryingly - responsible for the defence of the realm. We have the programmer whose mood swings are influenced by the health of his cat, pranks that go horribly wrong, a dubious Nazi memorabilia sideline, and and the psycho bitch that makes Kathy Bates' character in 'Misery', look like Mother Teresa. This is the stuff you don't see in a James Bond movie... but it's there in the background.
Geek End is definitely a guy's book, but there's something here for the girls too. I found James' travel tales really interesting and his social encounters outside work was a real (and funny) insight into how the male mind works in relation to the opposite sex.
This book does two things: it teaches you stuff about the defence industry, and it makes you cry with laughter.
This is the real 'Office'. If you like Bill Bryson or Stephen Clarke, you'll love this.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)