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.

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