14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A darkly funny picaresque,
This review is from: Thrift (The Misadventures of an Inadequate Teacher) (Kindle Edition)
'Thrift' is a comedy about the British state education system, in which everybody - staff, management, the inventively irreverent student body - is embroiled in a ballad of mutual incomprehension, and rampant self-delusion. A cross between Kingsley Amis' 'Lucky' Jim Dixon and The Beano's Roger the Dodger, Phil Church's narrator is an English teacher charged with guiding his reluctant pupils in their 'learning journey', while attempting to sidestep what he'd surely shudder to hear called his own personal growth. 'Thrift', though, is not a novel about redemption. Its comic motor is failure: failure to teach, failure to learn, failure to tell the truth, failure to say no to either the anesthetic of pedagogical jargon, or to the comforts of the biscuit tin or a foaming pint of nut brown ale.
Church has written a very enjoyable first novel, funny and highly readable but with a darkness that lingers. I look forward to reading his sophomore effort!