The Canal – review

In this promising debut Hackney author Lee Rourke pulls off quite a few clever tricks.

He makes boredom an interesting subject. He makes days spent doing little more than sitting on a towpath bench by the dirty waters of the canal somewhere between Hackney and Islington seem life enhancing.

And he makes decent jokes while still writing with the deadly seriousness and misanthropy of Houellebecq or Camus. There’s even a love story of sorts in there, although like everything else in the book it comes with a very sharp twist.

Real news stories don't come cheap.

The Hackney Citizen is the borough’s only independent newspaper, and is now in its tenth year.

Our hard-hitting journalism has uncovered fire safety failures in tower blocks, revealed plans to criminalise rough sleepers, exposed dodgy letting agents and reported on many other issues of public concern.

We’ve always been totally free in print and online, but advertising revenues are falling.

That’s why we’re asking for your help.

Hackney Citizen’s high quality journalism is produced by a small team on a shoestring budget, so we’re asking you to make a monthly contribution to fund our work, enabling the paper to survive and thrive.

Support the Hackney Citizen from as little as £2 per month.

Can you spare £4 a month or more? Get the paper delivered direct to your door each month! (UK only)