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.


The coronavirus outbreak sadly means the Hackney Citizen is unable to print a monthly newspaper for the first time in its 12-year history.

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When Hackney and the wider world has fought off this virus and we return to some semblance of normality, the print edition will be back.

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