The written word can take you to the edge of the Universe, and throughout history as far as the imagination takes the author. This author takes you as far as the warehouses and factories of the North West and Midlands through the eyes of a very urban spaceman.
From a seemingly privileged position of a bohemian musician with exotic French live-in girlfriend and indestructible Nissan Micra, lack of financial success and the British welfare system throw this artistic gent into the harsh reality of the humble temp worker...that essential cog in the economic system that appears to have progressed little since Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times.
As the story progresses it meanders in a Fellini-esque manner with short anecdotal stories ,and occasional philosophical observations, from a man seeking to swim against the tide in the midst of a sea of boredom and repetition, meeting a mixture of sociopaths and psychopaths, while making brief friendships with wise and gentle colleagues who would not appear out of place in an epic story by Homer.
As a resident of the UK, I found the story a pleasant and enjoyable read. Certain chapters were sharp,well written and full of humour as horror,the Murder in Sefton Park being a prime example, and signs of promise for future fictional works. Some areas did lack adequate exposition by the author. One example being the story of the two 'bumblers' in Gravelly Hill. Are they selfish sociopaths or Laurel and Hardy? Difficult to tell. The author writes about them with affection but the cavalier way one of them smashes their parent's car window would indicate a darker more selfish attitude in the character at odds with his sympathetic portrayal in the story. Perhaps I missed something?
This unfortunately cost the story its fifth star for this review. But despite these few flaws the story was an enjoyable read and thoroughly recommended. I look forward to future works with anticipation.