Big Spender by John McCabe

Big Spender

John McCabe

Before I read this book I didn't believe the world of Health and Safety could be so entertaining. Jake, his paranoid colleague, Roger, and his stingy (deceased) uncle, Norbert, are all great characters who underpin a funny and original plot. Laugh out loud funny with some great one-liners.

Extract

In his office, Jake stared at the poster he had faced every day for eight years. Safety Is No Accident, it proclaimed. Next to it, this week's Hazard Prevention slogan advised Make Danger a Stranger. Each slogan came with a statistic attached, as a grim reminder of society's evils. Jake read the frightening piece of information again. Last year, 91 bread bin-related incidents required hospital treatment. He walked to the window which overlooked the car park. The door opened, and Roger, his colleague, sidled in and headed for his desk. Roger was a six-foot-two streak of unadulterated caution. Even his clothes looked worried, with their paranoid creases and maniacally furrowed folds. His eyes swam wildly around behind fish-tank lenses, darting back and forth, searching out danger, and his nostrils flared as if could smell oncoming disaster. Jake enjoyed sharing an office with him because next to Roger he felt calm. He was able to measure his own mildly racing pulse against Roger's obvious panic, and usually came off best. While it is undoubtedly noble to be judged alongside the great and the good, it's far more rewarding to be compared with those who are obviously lacking.

Parallels
  • Things Can Only Get Better by John O'Farrell
  • About A Boy by Nick Hornby
  • Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen

Books with similar mood

Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination

Helen Fielding

Nicotine

Nell Zink

The House of the Hidden Mothers

Meera Syal

Dog Days, Glen Miller Nights

Laurie Graham

The Glasgow Coma Scale

Neil D A Stewart

The End of Sleep

Rowan Somerville

My Side of the Story

Will Davis

My Fat Brother

Jim Keeble

Island of the Sequined Love Nun

Christopher Moore

My Brilliant Friend

Elena Ferrante

Backpack

Emily Barr

Faint Praise

Ellen Hart

Missy

Chris Hannan

Dead Cat Bounces

Damien Owens

Rush Oh!

Shirley Barrett

Utterly Monkey

Nick Laird

Grift Sense

James Swain

Love and Fallout

Kathryn Simmonds

Happiness

Will Ferguson

A Room Full of Bones

Elly Griffiths

Stonemouth

Iain Banks

Little Gods

Anna Richards

Made in Yaroslavl

Jeremy Weingard

The Hacker and the Ants

Rudy Rucker

Chained

Lauren Henderson

Own Goals

Phil Andrews

The Marais Assassin

Claude Izner

Meeting the English

Kate Clanchy

Holy Smoke

Tonino Benacquista

Right on Time

Pauline McLynn

Baby: Poems on Pregnancy, Birth and Babies

Gillian Ferguson

Big City Eyes

Delia Ephron

Valhalla

Ari Bach

Lodgers

Nenad Velickovic

Havana Best Friends

Jose Latour

A Terrible Country

Keith Gessen

A Man Against a Background of Flames

Paul Hoggart

A Long Long Time Ago and Essentially True

Brigid Pasulka

Down Sterling Road

Adrian Michael Kelly

Coastal Treasure

Mark Alan Griffis

Rant

Alfie Crow

The Road Home

Rose Tremain

And Now You Can Go

Vendela Vida

A Book of Two Halves

Nicholas Royle

Glory Goes and Gets Some

Emily Carter

Spitting Off Tall Buildings

Dan Fante

Martin Martin's on the Other Side

Mark Wernham

Black Swan Green

David Mitchell

The Wangs vs the World

Jade Chang