“. . . or the Bell and Basin in Clapham, which, when it came to licensing laws, was a law unto itself . . .”
I feel that I need to defend myself for, knowingly, picking up such a piece of rubish to read (how did I know it was rubbish? The review quote on the back that touted it as “Bridget Jones for boys” was what gave it away). The wife and myself had just moved to Charlton in the Greenwich Borough of London. While we were out exploring our new environs, we happened upon the Charlton House. As we went in we were asked if we were there to see Mike Gayle speak. The next thing we know we are watching a discussion with the author over his new book, which has been chosen by the Greenwich Borough as the book that they want everyone in the Borough to read (so that everyone will be “buzzing” about it). Being good community people (and suckers for autographed books) we bought a copy.
Why Greenwich would choose such a trite novel as the “one book to get the borough reading” for its Greenwich Reads campaign is beyond me. The author isn’t even local (hell he isn’t even from London and had never been to Greenwich until the day we happened to see him at Charlton House). The book follows Rob who is a graphic designer that moves from London to Manchester in order to be with the love of his life, Ashley. This decision though causes him to move away from his friends, and the focus of the book is his inability to make new friends. Finally after many miserable pages he makes a friend, the hitch is that she is a girl. This causes all the cliched friction that is customary, and the situation ends just about how you think it will. The characters are stereotypes, the plot is meaningless, and the only consolation is that is a very fast read.
The books moments of legal inquiry are brief and unexciting. SInce there is no sort of legal theme that I could identify, I’ll just run through it willy nilly and be done with this stupid review of this stupid book.
Rob’s group of friends in London include in their pub discussion topics “will a socialist utopia ever be possible.” The reason I mention this is that whenever one is reading English history, one finds that everything from literature being written to scientific discoveries happens in pubs. So why not a healthy discussion of the law.
When, Rob moves in with his friends during University he is told not to steal food from a certain roomate unless he wants to start World War III. I once answered a question on an international law exam to the effect that the law among the nations is analogous to the law among roomates. I got an A.
Rob’s girlfriend asks him “who died and made you Minister of Boozing?” What a wonderful government position. I’m running for it next year.
Jo, Rob’s “brand new friend,” is a housing agent who must insist (due to legal requirements) that a man who breaks his own toilet only to have it repaired must fill out the requisite forms. He refuses and tells her that she’ll be hearing from his solicitor.
One of Ashley’s friend’s ex’s married a trainee barister.
And finally some questions “weren’t issued in a digging-for-information-that-can-and-will-be-used-as-evidence-against-you way.” This simply illustrates the prevalence of the United States’ Miranda Rights in world culture.