London and the South-East by David Szalay. The sad life of an advertising salesman.

I was not familiar with author David Szalay before and discovered him via Instagram.  There was a giveaway from the Book Club Cookbook and Grey Wolf Press.  Lucky me, I won!

While the writing is sharp this is definitely a downbeat plot.  You find yourself feeling very sorry for our main character, Paul Rainey.  Can you imagine a career in telemarketing sales for a magazine which, sadly, is only subscribed to by the advertisers.  Paul is depressed, drinks and smokes too much and finds little solace at home. He is on a treadmill that never gets him anywhere even though he would love a change in his life.

I thought it may be like The Office, but it wasn’t quite. Real life glimpse of an ordinary middle-aged man drifting along in his unsatisfactory life. The cover grabbed me straight away and so I entered for a chance to win the book.

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday


5 thoughts on “London and the South-East by David Szalay. The sad life of an advertising salesman.

  1. That does sound like a sad life. I wonder if there’s a cultural difference between Americans and Brits — are we more likely to make a change, for the sake of change? On the other hand, are Brits more able to accept life as it is and not strive for something that isn’t achievable?


  2. Pingback: Oranges and Sunshine #FilmReview #BriFri – Joy's Book Blog

  3. This sounds like an update of George Orwell’s novels written in the 1930s, ‘Keep the Aspidistra Flying’ and ‘Coming Up for Air’. In one a bored insurance salesman tries to recapture his lost youth, and in the other a bored advertising copywriter gives up his job to write poetry.


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