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.

At a time when independent and trusted news is more important than ever, this was an incredibly difficult decision to have to make.

Without print advertising, our major source of income, a one-off donation from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the website and social media feeds running through this unprecedented crisis.

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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