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Utterly Monkey (P.S.)by Nick Laird
Synopses & Reviews
Danny Williams didn't mean to be a lawyer, but somehow he is — and for up to eighteen hours a day. He's well paid, home owning, and twenty-seven but is also overworked, lonely, and frequently stoned. The plan was to leave the troubles of a small town in Northern Ireland for the big city in England, but one evening an old school friend, Geordie, bursts into Danny's shiny new life. On the run from a Loyalist militia, Geordie brings everything Danny thought he had left behind and dumps it on his doorstep.
With infectious wit and energy to burn, Utterly Monkey is a searing, fiercely funny, and ultimately redemptive novel about surviving an office job, outwitting the bad guys, and, hopefully, getting the girl.
"Laird — poet, former lawyer and husband of Zadie Smith — debuts, lad-lit style, with this sometimes entertaining story of childhood friends whose paths diverged radically and then reconverged. Danny Williams is a well-paid (if deeply unenthusiastic) lawyer at a prestigious London firm; Geordie Wilson, his boyhood chum from Northern Ireland, is 'officially an unemployed labourer' who's just showed up on Danny's doorstep desperate for a place to stay. Geordie's in trouble with the Ulster Unionists back home, primarily because he has a sack full of their cash; Danny's been told he needs to go back to Northern Ireland to deal with a corporate takeover. Geordie joins forces with Danny, more out of idle curiosity than a sense of urgency (though the Unionists are planning something nasty). Laird's writing is clear and amusing, and both his protagonists are likable. But their aimlessness impedes the building of any narrative momentum, and the book's climactic scene is as rushed as it is contrived. The novel is well intentioned, clever and occasionally quirky — but the whole feels like less than the sum of its parts." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Nick Laird was born in 1975 in Northern Ireland. He was a scholar at Cambridge University, and later spent a year at Harvard University as a visiting fellow. The author of To a Fault, a poetry collection, he has received several prestigious awards for both poetry and fiction, including the 2005 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.
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