BBC Radio 4 Book of the Year.
The Mirror: "I laughed my head off, then cried my eyes out."
Mel and Sue: "Excellent fun."
The Times: "A coming of age tale, it folds together the best aspects of Bridget Jones and Adrian Mole."
"My name is Jay Golden and the reason I've started a diary is so that researchers will be able to piece together my early life when I'm a famous celebrity. It will help them get their facts straight and stop them having to rely on potentially corrupting sources such as Big Al from Big Al's Golden Delicious Doner Kebabs and dad who thinks I'm a prat. Following the triumph of my novel (“It Purred. Golden is a genius.”) I will give one interview to Melvyn Bragg at Quaglinos over seafood marinere and caramelised squid then disappear into obscurity to become a hermit like JD Salinger."
Jay is 18 and keeps a diary better than he keeps any job. His countless sackings and relentless taunting of his father’s BBC celebrity friends mix with the emotions of a family adjusting to loss. Desperate for literary fame, and unable to accept that a man with as many UCCA points as he has, must now show “hustle” in the lobby area of Chesham McDonalds, Jay dreams of running away to Africa to dig water wells, of becoming a freedom-fighter in Syria and of making it so big in the lawnmower business he owns a kidney-bean shaped swimming pool full of bunny girls. But first he has to get off his arse and stop watching Countdown in his pyjamas. In short he has to grow up. As poignant as it is funny, stand back to hear Jay’s unique insights on life, love and the correct amount of lettuce to apply to a McChicken sandwich.
WHAT THEY SAID:
BBC Radio 4 (Charlie Lee-Potter): "It brought tears to my eyes. I read it with mascara dripping down my cheek. So sad and yet so funny. I laughed out loud."
The Guardian: "Jay is like many a middle-class 18-year-old: workshy but harbouring grandiose ambition, wrestling with his first relationship and on the brink of being forced from the nest. Jay merrily trips though his beleaguered circumstances as we giggle our way through the text. But then, as Jay loses one job after another, looking out for his younger brother while his father dines his celebrity friends, we stop laughing and reach for our Kleenex. Hatch approaches the themes of loss and reconciliation with fierce intelligence and heartfelt authenticity."
The Scotsman: "Adrian Mole meets Billy Liar with a running Holden Caulfield joke. Surprisingly funny."
Daily Express: "Jay is the ineffective and inept son of a successful father - his diary is an account of his numerous failed jobs and his attempt to achieve fame."
Birmingham Post: "Witty, moving and entertaining. I defy anyone who's ever been a teenager, or a concerned parent not to love it."
Lisa Jewell: "Touching, intelligent and very funny."
The Lady: "Jay's life of loafing will have you guffawing out loud."
NB. This book was previously published as The Lawnmower Celebrity.