To say that Alan Reece was having a bad day would be an understatement;
in fact Alan was having a bad life and that life was about
to be cut prematurely short by the imminent end of the world.
Stuck in a job he hates and missing his fiancé who, for reasons
that he sympathised with, had recently become his ex-fiancé.
It was bad enough being a sleep deprived vet, but when Alan
attends the birth of a transparent calf he's fatefully aware
that his life is just about to take a turn for the worse...
Purpose is a first novel from new author Nick Marsh who
is, indeed, a vet in real life. It is always with a feeling
of trepidation that I approach reading a novel that purports
to be comedic, especially from a first time novelist. The
problem is that humour tends to be a very individual thing,
great if you already have an audience like Terry Prachett
or Douglas Adams, not such a good move if you are a relative
it was good to see that Marsh hasn't fallen into the trap
of fart jokes and silly names. Rather he has gone for a gentle
form of surreal situational comedy, which should appeal to
a great many people. His well rounded characters each react
to their bizarre circumstances in diverse, but very human
ways. This is comedy painted with a delicate brush rather
than a B&Q five and a quarter incher. Marsh has the same sense
of the absurdities of life as Douglas Adams had, and gleefully
peppers his book with examinations of everything from aliens,
the paranormal and religion.
is your typically unhappy Englishman, much in the mould of
Arthur Dent sans the dressing gown. Like Dent he exhibits
a degree of befuddled bemusement and incredulity regarding
the events which unfold around him. He is your everyman character
tossed around in a tide he cannot control, and as such Marsh
has made him a character with which it is easy to feel both
sympathetic about and become involved in.
book was a delight to read. Okay, so no great laugh out load
moments, but it did elicit a gentle and consistent level of
chuckles and amused smiley moments right to the last page.
This quality of writing was maintained throughout the book.
Moreover, where it would have been easy to revert to cheap
and obvious jokes to keep his audience enthralled, Marsh has
instead decided to spend his energies producing an excellent
and interesting plot, which gets increasingly darker towards
the end of the book. Have to say I loved the ending, but I'm
not going to spoil it, you will have to go out and buy a copy.
has been no slouch when it comes to his other characters.
The plucky Kate, who first stumbles on the end of the world,
spends her time having to deal with the initially ineffective
Alan and his house mate George, who is pointlessly employed
as a reporter for a paranormal rag. If
that wasn't enough, she finds herself having to rely on Trevor,
her ex-boyfriend and without doubt the most boring man in
If this is Marsh's first novel, then all I can say is I can't
wait to see his next one. Overall, an excellent piece of writing
that will, in equal parts, enthral and entertain you.
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
deal! Click on the logo of the desired store
below to purchase this item.
All prices correct at time of going to press.