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The P45 Diaries [Kindle Edition]

Ben Hatch
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)

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Book Description

*Top 10 Kindle bestseller.*

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.


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.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 749 KB
  • Print Length: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Ben Hatch (27 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,274 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ben Hatch's latest novel is called THE P45 DIARIES: How To Get Sacked From Every Job in Britain. Currently being developed as a BBC sitcom, and a former BBC Radio 4 Book of The Year, it was previously titled The Lawnmower Celebrity and is based loosely on Ben's woeful experiences of his teens and 20s when his dad thought he was an oaf.
Ben was born in London and grew up there, in Manchester and also in Buckinghamshire, where he lived in a windmill that meant he was called Windy Miller at school for years, though he's not been scarred by this experience at all. He now lives in Brighton with his tiny wife Dinah, and two children, in a normal house. He likes cheese and is balding although he disguises this fact by spiking his hair to a great height to distract people he wishes to impress.
Ben (who is actually writing this and pretending to be someone else)has written for The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express among other newspapers. Previously he wrote ROAD TO ROUEN: A 10,000 Mile Journey In A Cheese-filled Passat that was a Number One bestseller and ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET? 8,000 Miles Round Britain In A Vauxhall Astra, a BBC Radio 2 Book of the Year, and also a Number One bestseller. It is also under development as a film by Island Pictures.
Ben is the tallest Hatch who ever lived (5ft 9in) and is the son of Sir David Hatch, the radio performer and producer whose shadow Ben doesn't at all feel under. He also maintains that he knows the cure for the common cold (tweet him at @BenHatch to find this out) and that one of his relatives was John Couch-Adams who discovered the planet Neptune. Apparently, his aunty told him.

Many years ago his novel the International Gooseberry was published by Orion. It was about a hapless backpacker with a huge ungovernable toenail. It was described as "hysterical and surprisingly sad" by the Daily Express. Ben Hatch was on the long-list of Granta's 2003 list of the most promising 20 young authors in the UK, but missed out on final inclusion possibly because of the toenail stuff. In association with his wife Dinah, he has also written three guidebooks for Frommer's.

You can visit Ben Hatch at although his page is a bit rubbish.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy this! 7 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you can find more pleasure for 99p, please let me know how.

That's all I wanted to say really, but the Amazon thought police, dubious of brevity, insist I write more.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not funny 9 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought I was going to find another Matt Dunn or Nick Spalding, unfortunately not even close. Not funny, made me squirm about his view on the world and why he shouldn't lift a finger
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confused genre? 15 Jan. 2014
By Heather
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am somewhat surprised that this book has been classified as a comedy. It actually depicts a young lad having a mental breakdown as he tries to come to terms with a traumatic loss. The 'humorous' scenes are in fact a sad cry for help and therefore not, in my eyes, funny. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had realised the correct genre from the start.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book from Ben Hatch 30 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Having loved Ben Hatch's accounts of his marathon journeys with his family around Britain and France in Are We Nearly There Yet? and Road to Rouen respectively I was really looking forward to this book but unlike the previous two books this is fictional so would I enjoy it as much?
Happily the answer is a resounding yes. The diary writer, a young man called Jay Golden reminded me of Holden Caulfield. He is on the brink of adulthood but the idea of what he perceives to be a mundane 9 to 5 existence horrifies him. He loses one job after another and is constantly at odds with his father. At first Jay isn't always the easiest person to like, however, as the book progresses I warmed to this young man trying to find his place in the world whilst experiencing the highs and lows of first love and as we gradually learn, struggling to cope with the death of his mum. Having lost my own mum to cancer when I wasn't much older than Jay meant it was at times a painful read but crying because you've been moved by what you're reading is a sign of a good book in my eyes. Knowing from Ben's works of non-fiction that The P45 Diaries is semi-autobiographical made it all the more poignant.
This is a book that will have you sighing with exasperation, snorting with laughter and wiping away the tears. It's honest, funny and very very moving. I'm sure Ben Hatch fans and those new to his books will thoroughly enjoy The P45 Diaries, I certainly did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A funny heart warming coming of age story 12 Jan. 2014
By karen d
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is about 18 year old Jay Golden, who would love nothing more than to become a writer but doesn't seem to get past his third page. In the meantime he cannot hold a job down, which drives his family mad. There is his younger brother Charlie who loves his teenage mutant ninja turtles, who wont leave the skin on his elbows alone. There is his older sister Sarah who no longer lives with them and is getting married. Then there is is long suffering dad who had to take the roles of both parents after losing his wife, Jay's mum to cancer. The story takes place in the year following his mums passing and it is about how they all cope in the aftermath. It is a funny heart warming coming of age book which will make you laugh and it will also make you cry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More colourful even than my own job history! 8 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ben Hatch captures the young man's quest for a Good Job, with added poignancy, a touch of slapstick and loads of insightful humour.
I can't describe it. Buy it, read it and enjoy it for yourself!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST Read 20 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant book, a handbook for every parent of teenagers, in case they have forgotten what it was like to be one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED this book! 20 Dec. 2013
By C Beck
Format:Kindle Edition
Loved every page of this book which had me giggling out loud one minute then blubbing into a tissue the next! Wonderful story and writing style had me drawn in from the first page. I haven't enjoyed a book this much in quite a while. Don't think about it - just buy it!
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