I really enjoyed this excellent satire about a dystopian Britain where the cosseted few huddle inside a dome, so in thrall to health and safety directives that kitchens are considered death traps and cars hurtle along at a scary eight miles per hour. Abraham Pope seems to be the model citizen of this Scared New World, having neutralised any potential threat inside his own home to such a degree that it remains just a fraction away from the perfect safety rating of 10/10. But when he's charged with fixing the disaster of a leak inside the hallowed halls of the Department of Safety and Health, his life is turned upside down by a plumber who soon realises he can make some easy cash for both himself and others outside of the dome by exploiting the many rules laid down by their Ezicash rulers. Ian Thompson's tone and style brought to mind Douglas Adams and the book's funniest moments come from his eccentric observations and the throwaway remarks of his characters. While it suffers at times for failing to resist cruder gags, with the pub's name Fat Dicks responsible for most of these, you can forgive this as the overall reading experience is so enjoyable. In these post-Brexit times, the themes of Ezicash resonate more strongly than ever and one can only hope the absurd future painted by Ian Thompson doesn't come to pass, although we would be guaranteed a few laughs if the worst did indeed happen. This is an imaginative and enjoyable book that's well worth a read, whether you're sitting in the kind of soft, luxurious sofa that graces Pope's living room or perched on a pointy wooden antique that would set off alarm bells inside the dome. I will definitely be checking out more of his stuff.
Once again Ian Thompson has found the funny bone in situation. The story builds on all the absurdities of H & S and takes them to the Nth degree. Great characters and a well thought out plot. Just read and enjoy it.
Over regulations vs common sense, looking forward in what the future could bring it taken to the fullest degree, with humour and naturally good overcoming bad. Could be a made into a good screen play. Different and enjoyable
I was drawn to the book by the eye-catching cover, the unusual title and the European Union setting of the book given the current national obsession with all things EU. I read the book with my Kindle Unlimited subscription. Ezicash is set in 2060 in a post-EU dystopia where safety and health have become all-consuming for the citizens of DOSH-1-TERMINUS-UK (Department of Safety and Health). DOSH1 residents are part of EZICASH (Eurozone Investigative Coordinating All Safety and Health) and they live a carefully controlled, micro-managed lifestyle in a super-size, all-encompassing dome. But one day there is a problem which can only be fixed by an outsider - someone who doesn't live in the dome. It becomes apparent early on in the novel that there is an alternative to the sanitised dystopia of dome life. This is explored through the narrative of Philip Lud, an old fashioned plumber whose lifestyle, and that of his friends, is the very opposite of DOSH1. Ezicash is a most unusual, satirical and highly entertaining novel. The author has, amazingly, created an extraordinary but completely plausible alternative world in EZICASH. This is because so much of DOSH1 is seen through the eyes of the very down to earth outers. I enjoyed reading the novel and look forward to reading more by Ian Thompson.
When I first started this book, I found myself reading each page two or three times to see if I was reading what I thought I was reading. I was. This book is the satire of satires. It is hilarious and cynical at the same time.
The book starts out in a place where people live in a very safe dome. One man safely gets to work one morning to find there is a leak somewhere and a puddle has formed. This is an emergency, and he has to find a plumber from outside the dome to help fix this disaster--and the plumber has to know how to fix it safely.
He finds a plumber and the conversations between the two are extremely funny. The people living in the domes may be safe, but the people living outside the domes are very smart. Actually, the people outside the dome lead actual lives and know the difference between a disaster and a puddle.
Originally it appears that the people inside the dome are privileged--the 1%, so to speak. This book takes a whack at them to let them know however privileged they might think they are, they didn't get that way alone and can't stay that way alone. They need other people perhaps not as privileged as they presume they are.
Very topical, I would say.
I highly recommend this book. It is funny, yet it reveals some truths about he human condition that are right on target.
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book, through Reading Deals, so I could give an honest review.
While I love the theme behind this book: over-development of the nanny state and Health and Safety rules—sadly already over-the-top in the UK to a frightening level—and liked the plot lines and obvious satire, there were some aspects to the story that I felt were disappointing.
The storyline is good—I liked the various conflicts and interactions between the “controlled ones” and the scary outsiders—but I think the author added too many conflicts and characters, and the story was quite confusing in places. Numerous conflicts (within and among characters) occurred on most pages, and often they came across as clichéd (although that might have been part of the satirical view of the story). On top of that, it was quite difficult to keep track of characters, their relationships (again numerous), who really wanted what, and I found it hard to work out who was doing what with whom and what the point was in many parts of the story. One main character was written in first person narrative and the other main character was in third person--I found that this method didn’t really flow.
When it got near the end, maybe 75% through, I felt as though the author rushed to finish it and the events were quite hazy.
Overall, this book is worth a read, especially if you despair at Govs that like to over-legislate, issue fines, overtax, and control everything except the air you breathe, even more so if you appreciate satire. (Might give you nightmares about what your kids and grandkids could be faced with though!)
"He now understood that freedom was a luxury that could be so easily exploited by the overbearing and their lexicon of lies, that it was in itself a fragile state. He realised now that the border gates were there to keep folk in, that the lies and propaganda were there to feed fear, and that if a free thinker were to emerge, Mr. Hendrickx waited in the shadows."
This first paragraph of Chapter 15 in "Ezicash" by Ian Thompson sums up the gist of this quirky satire most eloquently. I admire a writer who can make me laugh and truly respect one who can do that while actually scaring the pants off me at the same time. This political satire about a Totalistic, Utopian society where there is no need to think or take any personal responsibility in the "safer" world hits a homerun in both entertainment value and as a profound statement on current societal ills.