One of the many things I like about this book is that it's written about the kind of people that don't get written about much in modern novels. Its protagonists are the kind of people I know so well, and, yet, outside genre fiction, are pretty much invisible. They appear occasionally in the work of writers like Martin Millar, Anthony Cartwright and Jonathan Coe, but they're an endangered species. What happens to these characters when first relationships break down, life hits like a hammer, and first jobs are given up in poverty and frustration? How does life turn out for these people? Just a few of the questions posed by Stranger Than Kindness as work in an asylum in the eighties moves to working against the menace of big drug companies in 2013. A bulwark against Daily Mail readers hoping to keep reality out by burying their heads in their herbaceous borders, Mark A Radcliffe's characters (surely a sizable minority of people in this country) try to change things for the better as they take on their own vulnerabilities and the challenges posed by outside agencies in a thoroughly engaging, robust, and sparky manner. Ultimately, Stranger Than Kindess proves that surviving Thatcher doesn't have to be stranger than fiction.