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Bill Invisible [Kindle Edition]

Johnny Monroe
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

An Orwellian-Dickensian stew with a side-order of JG Ballard, ‘Bill Invisible’ is set in a near-recognisable Britain a stone’s throw from our own, careering down an enticing avenue for evangelical strivers everywhere. Ruled by a Government that has devised a solution to social problems by incarcerating them under one all-purpose roof, the country has an entire demographic that is invisible to many a blind eye as it turns. Non-persons whose circumstances have conspired to exclude them from genuine lifestyle choices are out-of-sight, but never out of the minds of those to whom they are an example of what can happen if Alarm Clock Britain oversleeps.

Bill is just another non-person barely noticed as he ghosts through a populace in thrall to their portable creature-comforts, a mysterious drifter who himself notices everything; yet when he is noticed, those he comes into contact with see in him an evocation of a moment imbued with such unsullied purity that its contrast with the lives they imagined gave them all they ever needed is dramatic. Bill’s supernatural ability to provoke inexplicable responses soon places his life in peril as he and his fellow invisible escapee, a disgraced teenage gymnast named Holly Wood, acquire a dangerous visibility and flee the urban jungle on a subconscious quest to locate the real England buried beneath the tawdry trappings of an imposed culture.

The society that has no place for Holly and Bill is not unveiled in all its panoramic grotesqueness, but sampled in claustrophobic chunks of interior oppression; only when they escape its toxic pallor do they inhale the wide open spaces of a neglected alternative and begin to discern the lies they were sold. Those they meet who have already embarked upon the same journey are the eccentric reflections of their repressed contemporaries through an alluring looking-glass; but it is the silent majority that the story gives voice to – the demonised and dispossessed rendered poisonous pariahs via a callous collusion between Westminster and the media.

Both a satirical take on the present and a chilling premonition of what can happen when the State persuades its people that the surrender of freedom and liberty is essential to the preservation of boom without bust, ‘Bill Invisible’ is a page-turning adventure through what England is, what it was, and what it could well become.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1421 KB
  • Print Length: 900 pages
  • Publisher: Johnny Monroe; 1 edition (19 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CGA0X54
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #718,336 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

My name is Monroe, Johnny Monroe. I was born a long way from home and spent my formative years as a child; I eventually lost this position and have devoted most of the last thirty years unsuccessfully looking for it. I live in hope.
I wrote 'Bill Invisible' because I felt those on the bottom rung of society's ladder - of which I am one - needed to be heard rather than demonised. I wrote 'Season of the Needle' because I had a true story that demanded to be told. When not releasing the creative juices I spend my time poncing about pretending to be Peter Wyngarde.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where we could be tomorrow 23 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A novel set in a world just slightly in the future, where Britain is ruled by an oligarchic elite and the poor and unemployed are incarcerated in 'Community Enterprise Centres' and required to do unpaid menial labour for the rest of their lives. Bill and Holly escape from one such centre, setting off a train of events which eventually have national consequences.

It's not a dystopia, for most people are doing very nicely thank you. But that is only long as they choose to ignore the inability of the democratic process to unseat the ruling elite and the steady deliberate erosions of human rights.

Essentially it takes present day politics and gives them only the slightest twist necessary to push us into something very few of us would actually want.

At a human level it works very well, the characters are well delineated, memorable, and pursue lives of their own. Despite its political theme, it is a very readable novel not a political essay. (I speak as someone who is not at all keen on political essays!)

I did have one or two quibbles, such as Holly's peculiar slang or the occasional tendency for new characters to indulge in an extended piece of rhetoric as they explain themselves. But the element that I thought would be a problem, the book's great length, was not an issue at all. There is something almost stately in the way it slowly unfolds, and then there is always enough going on to keep you interested throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I've purchased several novels at bargain prices by unknown authors lately, with admittedly varying success, hit the jackpot with this one however. This is a great story which can be enjoyed and appreciated on many levels, a modern day morality play, a well plotted mystery with clever twists and turns, and a genuinely funny and pointed political satire. Monroe populates his novel with a wide array of nicely developed characters, from the immensely likeable to the truly repulsive. No black and white, good or evil simplicity here though, he does manage to inject them with enough complexity to allow them to ring true. There are some real baddies though, mostly politicians, who are made larger than life, almost caricatures, but this is clearly done for comic and/or dramatic effect and never over reaches. The novel does a great job of intertwining several divergent plot lines, which results in many of the characters crossing paths in a believable and engaging way. I thought the story worked especially well as a cautionary tale, expounding on certain current social and political ills in a way that was both persuasive and disturbing. Particularly as it was easy to imagine how a society might well descend into the one sketched by Monroe in his story. I very much enjoyed this book, and found it very interesting, quite original, and really entertaining. Definite thumbs up!
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