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Out of Office [Paperback]

Mark Piggott
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.35 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

27 Mar 2010
Based over nine days Out of Office is a gritty fast-paced novel about a man dissatisfied with life. Set around the time of the 2012 Olympics, the novel sees a chaotic London, with failed terrorism attacks and significant problems in the City, leading to a growing sense of unease. The central character Christian Hook finds his life spiralling into freefall abstinence broken, his marriage disintegrating, Christian leaves work in search of something better. Set in a troubled London and living with the anxiety of regular terrorist bomb plots (failed for now), Christian finds himself being drawn into a world of violence, racism and terrorism. As Christian's life spirals out of control, he cannot help himself being pulled further in to this dangerous underworld, and is not sure he would want to stop even if he could.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press Ltd (27 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906558132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906558130
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,755,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Piggott is the author of two novels, "Out of Office" (2010) and "Fire Horses" (2008 ), both published by Legend Press, London. Magazines to have published his short stories and creative non-fiction include Aesthetica, Prole Books, Pulp Books and 3:AM. He's had major features in the Times, Guardian, Independent, Mail, Express, Sunday Express, Telegraph, Observer and more. He has appeared on TV and radio and lectures in creative writing and journalism.

Product Description


He possesses a way with metaphor and analogy which, when utilised sparingly and with a lightness of touch, rivals Martin Amis. He is expert at offering up succinct definitions of the quite complex web that multiculturalism, changing technologies and generational misunderstandings can weave around us. --Open Wide Magazine

About the Author

Mark is a writer and journalist who has written features for the Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, rivate Eye and Cosmopolitan and many more.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling portrait of contemporary Britain 3 May 2010
The setting for Out of Office looks like London, but everything is more extreme, more vivid. The summer is hotter, the buildings are more crumbling, the politics more oppressive, the terrorists more pervasive. It feels contemporary and futuristic at the same time, a slightly unsettling but intriguing mix.

This technique, of taking realistic events but punching them up a few notches, allows Mark Piggott to interrogate a lot of aspects of contemporary Britain. The familiar divisions between left and right are blown away, as the main character, Hook, doesn't fit into any real category except perhaps "free thinker". He doesn't believe in BNP race-hatred, but nor does he subscribe to the reflexive celebrations of diversity at the council newspaper he works for. He refuses to go along with the `correct' ways of thinking and behaving, and suffers for it.

So it's a political novel. This much is clear from the first page, when we are told about Hook's recurring dream of being on a plane and beheading Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atta to stop them from flying into the Twin Towers, before turning the plane around and flying it straight into the White House, straight at the point where Blair, Bush, Thatcher and other honoured guests are having a nice little barbecue on the lawn. Hook for the rest of the novel is equally hostile to both of these brands of extremists, none of whom speak for him.

"You know what I hate," snaps Hook, "assumptions. At dinner parties you're expected to hate the Jews and the Yanks. Down the pub and the greasy spoon you're expected to hate the Pakis and the queers. So arrogant, don't you think, people?"

The politics don't come at the expense of other important elements of a novel, like a compelling plot and believable characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good buy 28 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
an excellent read though hard to get into. once you are in it is an excellent read. would certainly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars London ripped 4 April 2011
Set against the backdrop of East London's preparations for the 2012 Games, Out Of Office is a savage rip through a recognisable and contemporary London but it is a city that, like its central character Hook, is tottering on the verge of total nervous collapse.

Piggott carves out a literary world that manages to be brutal but also poetic and weirdly, underneath it all, romantic and idealistic. Fans of both Houellebecq and Ballard should approve.

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