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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Brendan Gisby: "The Bookie's Runner", a mesmerizing story about an ordinary man


What his publisher says about The Bookie’s Runner: it is “thoroughly mesmerising.” 

I agree. It is also a gem, the kind of story that once you pick it up, resists being put down until the last syllable of the last word of the last sentence has been read.

Written from the perspective of a fifteen year old boy thinking through his father’s life and death, this book of 100 pages tells the story of the author’s father, “an ordinary, working-class man; a gentle soul, who loved his family and toiled day and night for them,” “a downtrodden man, one of life’s losers”, a man of many dreams who wanted so much more from life, but ended achieving nothing but the respect and love of those who knew him which, in my experience, is worth more than money can possibly buy.

One might think that such a description is enough to cause people to turn away from this book and its story … yet it is what makes the story so compelling. We all know people like Derry McKay, common, ordinary blokes who may be of little account in the grand scheme of things, but whose lives are the foundation on which our countries and our civilizations stand.

The story of Derry McKay hauntingly lingers, appearing in the memories and associations from the years of my living, as it will in yours. Pick up a copy of this captivating story, sit down, get a cup of coffee or tea, put your feet up and enjoy The Bookie’s Runner. It’s one of my favorites in this New Year.

I give it a five star rating: *****

Published for Night Publishing (UK) by CreateSpace.

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