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The Greatest Gift

by Danny Leigh

The reader is plunged into a roller coaster of a read as Matthew Viss falls nine stories off a roof. You feel the pressure building up as his life begins to implode. This is certainly cutting edge and if you admire fast, contemporary writing where style is key then this is for you. You experience a strange mix of emotional involvement and detached observation as the book describes the shallow service industry and its cruel, controlling clients who take advantage of Matthew. Don't let the way its written put you off - this is worth the effort.

Extract

And right now, I'm still falling.

Somewhere else entirely.
Closer to the end than the beginning.
Limbs fanned out, unbounded.
Pledged to Newton's tyranny.
And so the fifth floor passes.
The couple who live there are somewhere in their forties.

With them living directly underneath me, I often find myself running into them.
I've never seen them separately.
A lot of times they'll wear what look like matching outfits.

You just know they call themselves a team.

Does every shoe have to be stuffed? Reuben Toller stands over their largest case, oatmeal canvas with chocolate leather trim. Addresses his wife in taps and gestures. Fluent bursts of sign language. A mass of paper tissue sits before him on the bed. Surely you don't stuff running shoes?
But you do, Kaye Toller says, palms and fingers jiving in reply. They'll get crushed otherwise. Be flattened when you want to wear them.

Parallels

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway
 

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