Ready for a contemporary novel about getting your life together after a breakup? I might have just the thing…
Nothing Man by R J Gould
Genre: General Fiction
Date Published: 4th February 2021
Print length: 380 pages
One man in need of an overhaul. Two women determined to drag him there.
Neville Watkin’s life is so rubbish surely things can’t get any worse. Yes they can, because his wife leaves him, he loses his job, has a car crash and ends up in hospital.
Feisty Laura, the other party in the car crash, befriends him and sets out to turn his life upside down. For reasons he struggles to understand, Caroline, her equally feisty mother, seems to like him. Rather a lot.
All in all things are looking up, but is Neville courageous enough to seize these new opportunities?
I haven’t read any books by Gould so I went into reading his latest, Nothing Man, blind (well, blind aside from reading the blurb!). At that point of the month I’d read several enjoyable, easy reads and I’m glad Gould’s book was just the same.
Of course- as the blurb will tell you – Neville’s story doesn’t start out very well. Dumped and jobless, his already poor luck gets worse when he finds himself in hospital after a car crash. Sounds like pretty bleak circumstances, right? It is bad, yes, but it is when Neville is down on his luck that he meets two women, Laura and Caroline, who change his life for the better.
I loved Neville as a narrator. The tone and style of his narration conjured up comparisons with Don Tillman, the protagonist in Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project series of books, whilst also being completely unique and unlike most of the narrators I’ve come across. Even though some of his actions had me cringing, Gould managed to create a character readers will like from the get-go and root for.
I also really liked Laura and Caroline, the two women who get Neville out of his funk. Laura’s interactions with Neville are funny, lovely and I think both characters bring out something brilliant in each other which was a joy to read. Like Laura, Caroline is spiky, with her own past to reckon with, but you can’t deny the instant connection between Neville and Caroline. Admittedly, I thought it would be Laura that Neville would pine for and eventually end up with but it was refreshing to see a more mature relationship under the spotlight for a change.
The pace of the narrative is also great, although there was a point when my interest dipped (just a little).
Overall, Nothing Man is a funny, heartwarming contemporary novel I’d urge anyone looking for a light, easy read to pick up.
A Few “Thank Yous”
As always, I want to end this post by thanking a few people. First off, I want to thank Rachel (of Rachel’s Random Resources) for my spot on the tour. Next I want to thank the publisher, Feed A Read and the writer, R J Gould, for my E-copy of Nothing Man.
About the Author
Richard writes under the pseudonym R J Gould and is a (rare male) member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA). His first novel was shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon Award following his participation on the RNA New Writers’ Scheme. Having been published by Headline Access and Lume Books, he now self publishes.
He writes contemporary literary fiction about relationships, loosely though not prescriptively within the Romance genre, using both humour and pathos to describe the tragi-comic journeys of his protagonists in search of love. Nothing Man is his sixth novel, following A Street Cafe Named Desire, The Engagement Party, Jack and Jill Went Downhill, Mid-life Follies and The Bench by Cromer Beach.
Ahead of writing full time, Richard led a national educational charity. He has been published in a wide range of educational journals, national newspapers and magazines and is the co-author of a major work on educating able young people. He lives in Cambridge, England.
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