The Empathy Effect — Bob Lock

First let me get a disclaimer out of the way. I’ve chatted to Bob Lock over the Internet for years, so you could take this as ‘what his mates say’. However, I didn’t much like his previous book so said nothing about that one at all.

I just have to wonder if Bob first rejected agoraphobic steeplejack and claustrophobic miner to then settle on the most unlikely of heroes: an empathic traffic warden. He stuck this character in the somewhat precarious position of being cling-filmed to one of the supports of Mumbles Pier, then took it from there. This is a short chaotic romp swiftly including a couple of psychopaths, a superdog, kidnapping, murder, paedophiles and dog fighting. My one complaint would be too much dwelling on what I will call ‘the carrot effect’, which is a tad hackneyed (you know what I mean Bob).

I’ll say no more about it other than that I read through it quite rapidly and simply enjoyed it. Maybe some would consider £6.99 for a 135 page book a bit steep, especially when we’re getting 3 for the price of 2 at Waterstones right now. But this is small press, so to be expected. Writing humour is a difficult thing, one of the most difficult, and I’ll venture that no one below the age of forty is capable of it. Bob Lock can make us laugh, and that’s a rare and precious thing.

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