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Fold Paperback – 6 Jun 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (6 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408807602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408807606
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 776,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

You need know nothing about cards to relish the scabrous black comedy [...] in Tom Campbell's scintillating debut novel ... Campbell pulls off the difficult trick of putting the reader in the company of essentially unlikeable characters but keeping us thoroughly entertained. In doing so, he echoes the precise, unbridled nastiness of early 1980s Martin Amis. The pages of lean, measured prose ping with telling bons mots and, as the stakes are raised, the ruthless gamesmanship involving drugs and indecent exposure defies you not to laugh out loud even as you gasp in horror at the amorality (Metro)

All the men are wondering - with the funny yet bleak dialogue of other boys' novels (Hornbyesque with a touch of Nick Cave's Grinder Man album thrown in) - how on earth they ended up teaching or in IT or poor or married to a bitch, in Reading ... a hilarious expose of the insane levels of competition between blokes (Daily Mail)

Book Description

Bitingly funny, glitteringly dark and bursting with humanity, Fold is a tale of friendship and rivalry, of jokers and kings, and of learning that it's not the hand life deals you, but what you do with it, that counts

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Top Customer Reviews

By A. Rose TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a really witty yet intelligent debut from Tom Campbell. Five unlikely mates meet each month to play poker, only one plays to win, one plays seemingly only to record statistics, the others are a mixture of getting away from their wives or showing off their homes. Each month we move from one home to the next and the reader gets into the life of each of the players as the poker games are played. You don't need to know a thing about poker, I certainly didn't but by half way through the book I knew enough to follow who had the best hand and who was bluffing. It's full of satirical comments and observations of life in general and the lives of the other poker players as we get inside the heads of each player. Doug is a bragger, lucky and the enemy of Nick. Nick is a bit of a loser, unlucky but needs to bring Doug down. Alan is nervous, having been told he has a `tell' and is even more nervous about what it can be and furthermore is anxious about his inability to get his wife pregnant. Vijay is a total statistic and percentages geek, taking ages to work out whether or how to make a move and then there's Simon, quiet and the only one who seems to be in it to win. The highlight of the story is the bringing down of Doug by Nick. It's almost painful to read about Doug and how much money he's about to lose with the other four looking on in disbelief - but this is poker and it could go either way. There are moments of pure emotion, empathy and compassion for the inner feelings of these bravado fuelled blokes but the ultimate feeling on finishing the book is what a riot of a laugh that was. Without the risk of being rude, this is intelligent lad-lit at its best.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading this book and couldn't recommend it more highly. It follows a bunch (or maybe a pack) of five men in their early forties who meet up every month to play poker. But really poker's just a metaphor for the lucky and luckless lives they each are leading and the existential crises they suffer as they crawl helplessly into middle age. They're all stuck in their various ruts in the suburbs of Reading and each starts lashing out at the others as if in a last roar of an ageing lion (or in some cases the last squeak of a dying mouse). But ultimately the odyssey upon which each one of them has embarked inevitably brings them back to their home shores, perhaps not wiser but at least a little more appreciative of the few good hands they've variously been dealt. It's deliciously funny, insightful and also at times terribly sad and reminded me of books such as The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart and one of my all-time favourites Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. I've heard it said that if men want to try and understand women they should watch `Sex and the City'. Well, if women want to try and understand a little more about the mid-life crisis of the suburban British male then they might do worse than start with this fantastically entertaining debut novel from Tom Campbell.
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Format: Paperback
Tom Campbell's debut novel covers a year in the life of five friends, told through the events of their monthly poker night

The friends have drifted together through cards, but really want binds them is their desire to compete. The book particularly follows their desire to get one over on each other and the relationships between friends that have had seen a different level of success in the lives so far.

It is a point in time book for the generation turning 40 right now, with much to enjoy an reflect upon. This reminds me of some of the things I enjoyed about one day and the male relationship humour of The Finkler Question.

A great first book, I think we will see great things come from Tom and that this first book could make a great film.
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Format: Paperback
Really enjoyed this book - it's engaging, funny, well-observed and easy to read. Not only that, but for a novel which points towards a denouement where all the threads are burned, I was pleased that the ending was neither contrived nor predictable but convincing and satisfying. It felt cinematic: it's pacy, the characters are familiar, if not complex, and the shifts in their relationship have a strong visual thread. A fun read.
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Format: Paperback
I LOVE this book! It is fresh, original and beautifully written. I don't know the first thing about cards, but I do know about men, and this is the most incisive and insightful take on the modern male psyche that I have read. Add to that, it is acerbically funny and brilliantly observed. A total joy to read!
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Format: Paperback
This is a great first novel, sinister at times but always funny. It's cleverness lies in engaging the reader to wonder who is the real hero. Of course like any great writer Campbell keeps you guessing which character will triumph which will fail and what it all really means...cant wait for his follow up!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not a plot-book but the characterisation is absolutely superb. The story cracks on with excellent dialog and all the characters are 3 dimensional and interesting. Even if you know absolutely nothing about poker ( like me) you will be soon entirely absorbed in the psychological and human side of these games so don't let this put you off.
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Format: Paperback
Revenge, infatuation, paranoia, helplessness and inner reflection - it's all here and a real page turner. Didn't expect to enjoy it so much, but absolutely loved it, can't wait for the second book to happen and learn more about how men think and what drives them. Fabulous!!
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