Today’s book review, of a humorous novella, is brought to you by short story author and novelist Jenny Worstall. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
Thrift: The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher by Phil Church
Synopsis: A failing secondary school, a selection of confused teenagers, a play doomed for disaster and a distinctly below average teacher. Being a successful teacher is difficult, especially when you are not overly keen on doing any work. Still, the narrator of Thrift is undeterred as he lies and cheats his way through the Christmas term, hoping that he can save his career, and perhaps even earn himself a thoroughly undeserved promotion.
Thrift is a wonderfully laconic account of a failing comprehensive school teacher.
The long-suffering hero is patronised by his family (apart from his beloved mother), manipulated by his pupils and manipulated again by the school management team (the odious Mr Stevens is brilliantly sent up). Our hero has one true friend (the hapless Malcolm), a bizarre collection of drinking companions at the local pub and a frighteningly persistent would-be girlfriend called Angela.
Phil Church delights us with his self-deprecating style of writing and his dry sense of humour. He portrays the hero’s disastrous foray into the world of the private investigator, his useless direction of the school play, Hamlet, and gives an absolutely hilarious account of his brother’s stag weekend.
All is fuelled by a subplot of biscuits and alcohol, and as we rattle towards the cliff hanger ending, surely the reader’s main thought must be – sequel please!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Thank you, Jenny. It’s great to have you back.
Jenny Worstall is a musician, teacher and writer, and lives in London with her family.
She enjoys playing the piano and gossiping with her friends (which she calls research for her writing). Her website is http://www.jennyworstall.webspace.virginmedia.com and Jenny has written and published two novels (‘Sing with the Choir’ series):
- Book 1 ‘Make a Joyful Noise’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Make-Joyful-Noise-musical-romantic-ebook/dp/B007AZ2CNQ
- Book 2 ‘The Funny Business of Life’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Funny-Business-Life-Mozart-Messiah-ebook/dp/B00OQT8OR2 (which I shall be reviewing in May!)
She has also published five collections of short stories (‘Quick coffee break reads’); these are very fast reads and are on sale for 77p each (except ‘Lemon and Lace’ which is permanently free):
- Book 1 ‘Lemon and Lace’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lemon-Lace-Short-Stories-coffee-ebook/dp/B007RV7FSA
- Book 2 ‘Infant Barbarian’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Infant-Barbarian-Short-Stories-coffee-ebook/dp/B0086HZPD6
- Book 3 ‘Jubilee Violin’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jubilee-Violin-Short-Stories-coffee-ebook/dp/B0088VHLPK
- Book 4 ‘Peacock and Dragon’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Peacock-Dragon-Short-Stories-coffee-ebook/dp/B00E5LXA8Y
- Book 5 ‘Miss Peach’s Dream’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Miss-Peachs-Dream-Stories-coffee-ebook/dp/B00QE9YDO0
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If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.