Ask David, the top-ranked internet book review site, has just put up a feature article on The Road along with an interview with Clive West, the book’s author.
Ask David, the internet book review site, is currently featuring Hobson’s Choice along with an interview with its author, Clive West.
Hobson’s Choice & other short stories by Clive West entered the top 10,000 books on Amazon today. This is fantastic news and a recognition of all the effort that went into writing them.
Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy.
This novel is set about the fictitious town of Stockton and involves the building of a new road – an event which brings out the worst in an array of differing characters with equally different agendas.
Corruption is as old as the hills but many people don’t or won’t see that even the smallest ‘bad cough’ or ‘patting of one’s back pocket’ can have far-reaching consequences. If you think we’ve got a democracy, this book will open your eyes to what really goes on. Yet, despite that, it is not political – it’s a very human tale of how the countryside is being exploited for everyone’s gain. Everyone, that is, except the public.
Henry, our main character, is a town planner. He has a miserable marriage, children who just see him as a no-limit credit card, and a toadying boss who is obsessed with pointless minutiae and the feathering of his own nest through social climbing. One day Henry spots an opportunity for escape and …
Along the way, we meet the family whose dream house in the country loses its adjacent green fields in return for acquiring the family from hell as neighbours. We also get to understand why a waste disposal worker might turn a blind eye to the tipping of some asbestos, and how the law can be taken advantage of to make money.
We also meet someone who manages to turn personal tragedy into a new beginning.
You will find humour, disaster, greed, lust, sloth and just about every sin and emotion you care to imagine.
The Road is a blockbuster story with many dramatic turns. It is based on extensive personal experience and, although the characters are not directly related to any one individual, they are realistic.
Buy ‘The Road’ and be prepared to laugh, cry, and bash the living daylights out of a cushion or pillow as you seeth with rage at some of the injustices.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much I did writing it. Do leave your opinion both here and on Amazon.
The trouble was that ever since he’d been stuck on this damned weighbridge he’d been on flat months paywise. There was never any spare money in his pocket any more and his young red-head was a ‘cash transactions only’ kind of girl. He’d made the half-hearted suggestion that they have a quickie ‘for old times’ sake’ but he had been politely but firmly turned down. No pay, no play.
One of the rare interesting moments at work came when he had a Didicoy lorry from one of the gypsy sites in the area arrive at the weighbridge. George could tell its origin immediately and without even speaking to the driver. Didicoy lorries would always be some ancient contraption that had been on its last legs long before its previous owner had sold it. Now the lorry would struggle slowly up the gentle incline to the weighbridge like some asthmatic leviathan heading towards its final resting place. It would invariably be carrying broken furniture, sheds, windows, doors – a motley selection of wood, glass, concrete, wire, fabric and other miscellaneous materials. He was supposed to usher them away if they weren’t hauling one of the three approved categories of waste but turning a blind eye was infinitely better than them fly-tipping somewhere which is what would happen if he complied with orders. The gypsies that came to him were the decent ones who were fully prepared to pay and he didn’t see it as his duty to discourage them.
Unlike other clients, they were always made to pay cash that his system logged in and which he dutifully handed over when he had his regular weekly visits from his supervisor. There was no reason for the gypsies to pay more than the rate other cash-only drivers paid and no possibility for him to have his hand in the till. He would have been caught immediately had he tried. He didn’t fancy doing bird in some snotty prison.
More about The Road
“An absolutely great book showing how just one construction can change so many lives. Some for the better some for the worse. It will make you angry about how corrupt councils can be. Also gives good insight into good and bad building techniques. Read it, you will not be disappointed. “
Have you ever sat in a job interview wishing that the ground would open up in front of you? You know with absolute confidence that you haven’t a cat in hell’s chance of getting an offer so why wait and prolong the agony?
I was like that once, a long time ago. After a particularly unpleasant session (for which I was unsurprisingly unsuccessful), I started piecing together some rules about applying for jobs and how to handle myself in the interview. It was a mish-mash of psychology, body language, Latin questions (expecting the answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’) and good preparation.
Years of working as a director of a national recruitment agency honed these rules into six basic ones. If you follow these, in most cases (I can’t give you a 100% guarantee – sorry), you will be the pro-active element in the interview and this will let you take the lead. Once you have this, you can control the interview questions and this means that you can get yourself seen in the best possible light. Additionally, it will demonstrate real leadership qualities.
You don’t need to be either aggressive or assertive although you will need to be committed.
Let us know how you get on.
The interviewer is going to ask you a battery of fairly standard but, nevertheless, tricky questions. Many candidates spoil their chances by getting nervous and blurting out the first thing that comes into their panicky minds. We’ve all seen this put to dramatic effect in courtroom scenes where the ‘bad guy’ incriminates himself with a hasty and ill-considered response that he then regrets. It makes good television.
Don’t do that. There is no need for speed so take your time.
Have in your arsenal a number of phrases like:
- “Let me think a moment …”
- “Yes, that’s a good question. Can I have a few seconds to consider my answer?”
- “I like that question. Let me answer it properly …”
- “I’d have to reflect on that for a moment”
- “That’s an interesting question”
More information on Take charge of your job interviews
I’ve suffered with lymphedema ever since a bad car crash 20 years ago. The doctors in the UK had absolutely no idea what it was or how it could be treated. The net result was that I was subjected to a great deal more misery than was necessary as well as giving the disease time to get established to such a level as that it is now incurable.
My first visit to a lymphedema clinic was strange and, because I had no idea about what was involved, I was very badly prepared. After 6 weeks I was climbing up the wall. Nowadays, I go prepared and the stay is much more beneficial and comfortable. I’ve put what I’ve learnt into this booklet which I hope will prove an invaluable to anyone finding themselves in my position. I’ve also written the book from the point of view of trying to help sufferers keep down the price of this expensive treatment which often comes with numerous hidden extras.
With some 250m people suffering from lymphedema and this, with its propensity for creating massive weight gain and intense lymphatic fevers, it begs the question, “Why don’t most doctors know about it?”. I don’t suppose this book will be particularly welcome by the medical profession because it’s plain English and easy-to-understand advice means that it is really aimed at the ordinary person and helping make sure that they don’t get overlooked like I was.
For those whose lymphedema has progressed to one of the latter stages of the illness, treatment is likely to be ongoing with regular trips to a specialist clinic or hospital department on an annual basis. Since there is no permanent cure and the lymph fluid will keep being generated throughout the sufferer’s lifetime, the problem is not going to go away. No doubt, insurance companies are alive to this situation and my thoughts go out to anyone being denied treatment by an afterthought clause in their health insurance contracts.
So, assuming that you can get along to one of these specialist locations, what is involved?
There are essentially six components to the treatment although some clinics and specialists will emphasise or de-emphasise various individual elements according to their specific philosophy or set up.
“This author has lived with this disease and understands it better than most doctors. He has clearly done a great deal of research on this topic and provides the reader with much needed information as well as resources to find better help than your primary care physician can provide.”
“It was written by a sufferer and explains all about the condition in an easy to read and understand way.”
More information on Lymphedema – living with the disease
A modest success – Amazon 30th May, 2012
Here are 16 short stories which will have you thinking, clenching your teeth, tut-tutting and laughing. With a charming selection of genuinely venomous and duplicitous characters, self-seekers, jealous neighbours, and other no-gooders, you will be spoilt for choice about who and when to boo. Not only that, the stories have real twists in them – you think you’ve got it sussed and it turns out that your conclusion was too hastily arrived at.
The title story, Hobson’s Choice, is bound to have an effect on you. Its style and content are original and, without wishing to give it away, it’s that part which will leave you troubled. It’s certainly a story to re-read, too, as you will get even more things out of it second time around.
Stories like The Watcher or the much gentler Lost will catch you out with their endings while A Good Education and Moving Up will have you booing and hissing at the main protagonists.
In all the stories, you will find humour, pathos, a strong and plausible plot and well-developed characters.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much I did writing it. Do leave your thoughts both here and on Amazon.
From some way off, the two boys whom Pat had earlier sent packing, spotted the old ladies. One boy was in an empty shopping trolley which the other was pushing. They suddenly veered across to the bench, clearly looking for mischief. The three ladies bunched up together defensively.
“Wanna one-way trip to the cemetery, grannies?” the boy in the trolley demanded.
“Give us yer purses and we’ll take yer there,” the other boy shouted mockingly. In a show of bravado, he shoved his mate in the trolley towards the lake.
“Eh, what you doin’?” He jumped out just before the trolley splashed into the muddy water, scaring the ducks and swans into a burst of protest.
The boys started scrapping with each other and the three elderly ladies tacitly decided that now was a good time to be moving on. There was no point in tempting fate; modern youths had no respect and most of them were drug-crazed and carried knives – they had seen it on the telly and read about it in the papers.
Just as the boys were about to take off after the three women, they glimpsed the young policeman striding towards them. They certainly had no wish to enter into discussions with him. Apart from having made his acquaintance on prior occasions, the last thing they needed was him checking up on them and finding out that they had been skiving off school all day.
Abandoning the trolley, they legged it off in the direction of a little corner shop that was happy to sell them both individual cigarettes and cans of beer, and cider from a multi-pack, as long as they had the necessary cash and no-one was looking.
“Knowing that there will be a twist in the tail leads you to try to second guess the author but pesonally I failed every time. The collection serves to highlight that fate/destiny or simple oversight affects both the good and the bad; the worthy and the unworthy. Clive has clearly demonstrated that Sods Law really does exist and is living amongst us! “
“A good collection of short, snappy stories that leave the reader hanging on to the end to discover the final outcome. … These short stories are quick to read and kept me hooked.”
“These tales are easy to read but they make you think. The title story is particularly thought-provoking and even in a strange way comforting. When we beat ourselves up about how something went wrong, how much control did we actually have over the outcome? Maybe it wasn’t destiny as such but a question of ‘force majeure’. “
News update – 9th May 2012
Hobson’s Choice goes to Number 8 on Amazon’s bestselling list of Kindle fiction anthologies, Number 12 in the overall list of fiction anthologies and Number 12 in Kindle fiction short stories.
Here’s a screenshot!