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Village Books [Kindle Edition]

Craig McLay
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

*** Winner of the 2012 Independent eBook Award for best Literary Fiction! ***

Village Books is a local institution...which is good, because most of the staff probably belong in one.

The manager's addiction to WebMD has turned him into a closeted hypochondriac. The cashier's husband may have just gone AWOL with a small arsenal of fragmentary explosive devices. The fiction lead is buying urine on the black market. Trying to hold it all together is the store's long-suffering assistant manager, who is spinning his wheels in retail while he waits for something better to come along.

That something better may be Leah Dashwood, an aspiring actress and new assistant manager with an ambitious plan to transform the store and its staff in a way that will turn their carefully disordered world on its head. Will the store survive or will it be bought over by its evil corporate competition?

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Craig McLay was born in Scotland and asked to leave shortly thereafter. He now lives in Guelph, where he spends most of his time trying to stop his sons from changing gears while he is driving. He can be reached (but not grasped) at his Facebook author page (

Product Details

  • File Size: 508 KB
  • Print Length: 325 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0987947842
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,896 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
99 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Have a Scrumpy Jack on me April 8, 2012
By Reader
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm neither a writer nor a reviewer so please excuse my lack of eloquence. Happily, eloquence is not a problem for this author. Village Books is full of interesting characters whose conversation is both witty and droll. However, this isn't just a look inside of the goings-on of a bookstore - there's also a progressive story line.

I love book stores and am very glad I stopped in to visit this one. I really felt I got to know the characters and their stories by the satisfying end of the book.

The book is well written and appears to be professionally edited. I "purchased" it as a free and un-reviewed book based on the product description. Having read it I can honestly say that this book is worth purchasing for $ and I will recommend it.

(Edited to remove apology to author for quality of my review)
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think I got this book free for Kindle. I kind of wish I had paid for it. The experience has been so good that I feel guilty getting it for free. Besides, somewhere the author is, I hope, hard at work on his next book, and someone has to supply him with wings and Italian reds.

It's hard to characterize this book. I'm a fan of a lot of different genres, many of which don't seem to go together well. I love sexy women's mysteries like those by Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton. I also like gritty police stories, like those by Joseph Wambaugh and Michael Connolly. I love Neil Gaiman and Robert Heinlein and Dean Koontz when he was in his prime. I love Coben's Myron Bolitar Series and Repairman Jack. This book isn't anything like any of those. It's sort of Donald Westlake and sort of Carl Hiaasen, and yet it's entirely new and different and funny and touching and captivating.

This is a book about smart, funny people. The characters have depth and interests. You feel like you could spend years with them and still not know them totally. It's about love and friendship and commercial globalization and quality alcohol and good books and great movies. It's about courage and striving to achieve things you barely thought were possible. It's about hope and humor in the modern dystopia that is retail. And since it's only about $3, why not try it and see if you like it?
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not read this book in the subway! May 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read this book on the subway and you risk terminus interruptus by men in white coats.

The last time I read a book this funny was late in the early part of the last century. I had graduated from short trousers and a ticket to the adult library had introduced me to the writings of P.G. Wodehouse.

In "Village Books" one does not browse, one delves. Each character has a non-stereotypical idiosyncrasy ranging from Sebastian's inventive urine samples for his bail to Willard's exotic product lines in receiving.

If I say too much there is a risk of spoilers. Unlike those who downloaded this book free of charge initially, I purchased my copy when a Facebook advertisement led me to the blurb. Do as I did. Buy this book. Read this book. But first, have you taken your cardiac medication? Are you at risk of a kidney leakage? Are you in the subway? Be warned - this book contains an incurable strain of laughtus hystericus and it is highly contagious.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars People looking at me strangely..... December 6, 2012
By NickCA
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read this entirely on trips to the local coffee superstore (although I've now moved myself onto green tea). I found this book to be very funny, and I suspect the author and I have a similar sense of the absurd. My boisterous explosions of laughter merited some looks from patrons: some annoyed by the cacophony, some had a sour look of 'what the hell is so funny' and yet others appeared to be convinced that there was nothing on my kindle and that in fact I was just delusional.

Also, the sheer number of metaphors, similes and references to pop culture, icons and the obscure, borders on the ridiculous...and I drank it all up with glee. (To be completely honest, there were a few references that I didn't get, and was too lazy to google/wikipedia since the laughs were in abundance anyway.)

I liked the first 3/4 of the book more than the finish, but overall, taken in it's entirety, it's a good and worthwhile read. Don't look for dialog between characters that reads true, it doesn't. HOWEVER, it IS funny and manages to keep you in the story. The prose that communicates the main protagonist's thoughts DOES read true and therein lies the humor.

I liked this book very much and would recommend it to anyone needing a dose of laughter and diversion of the kind only novels can bring.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow reading May 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is full of smart, witty conversations, but I never connected with any of the characters. They all came off as somewhat smug. The plot seems secondary, as a vehicle to toss out quotes and references from movies, books and pop culture. I found the book extremely slow but slogged through to the ending, which seemed to be an afterthought, tying up loose ends.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Redfern
Format:Kindle Edition
It's difficult for me to give this book 2 stars, because I wanted to like it: the premise was sound, the introductory chapters were good, and it's important to support indy publishing. There's also the fact that, as an indy author myself, I just plain don't like giving bad feedback on someone else's hard work. Despite all that, my frustration with this novel is still clawing at my brain like a fatal parasite, so I can't avoid giving a below average rating.

As I say, the premise was decent enough: we follow the lives of the employees of a mid-sized Canadian bookstore - a store which is threatened with extinction by Corporate Evil. The writing seems witty and there are a wide range of characters. It's about 20% of the way through* that the problems start, and I found myself plodding on just to return to the initial buzz of the first couple of chapters.

It quickly becomes apparent that the wide range of characters are actually a wide range of bland fictional archetypes. We have the Pretentious, Under-washed Philosophy Student-Wannabe; The Anal-Retentive Germaphobe; The Stoner; The Crazy Ex; Stylish Gay Man; Grumpy Old Guy; Female Love Interest; and Bland Male Best Friend. You've seen all of these in pretty much every mass-market comedy ever made. For lovers of literary fiction, it's impossible to care about these individuals because their personalities are hollow Hollywood creations. The plot follows a similarly formulaic path: if you can't guess everything that happens, you're either on a morphine drip or you've been raised in an abandoned WW2 bunker without access to television or books.

That's nothing next to the narration, which at times honestly made me want to throw my Kindle out the train window.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes a Village ( Books) to make you laugh
Ebook read 9/26-28 5****

"Village Books is a comfortable place where I can hide out from the world for a while. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Kept falling asleep.
I'm not in the habit of reviewing books I haven't finished but as I keep falling asleep, having managed to only read 5% of the book, figured I'll never do so. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Katy M
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I thoroughly loved this book, The characters were very believable and they grabbed you.
Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the story and mostly loved the author
Loved the story and mostly loved the author. Very well written.. I would read anything he wrote. The tale has comedic highlights and serious
moments. Read more
Published 27 days ago by CINDY
1.0 out of 5 stars The only good thing about this book is
I could only read 5% of this so called book. Judgemental. Holier-than-thou, load of bull. The only good thing about this book is, I got it free. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Sherri
3.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Book
I enjoyed the writing style of the author. However, I felt his inclusion of his political viewpoints an unwantedand and unnecessary distraction from the flow of the story.
Published 1 month ago by GB
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice read
Great use of vocabulary. Ties together nicely in the end. An odd mix of characters (sometimes I forgot who was who)
Published 1 month ago by P. Young
1.0 out of 5 stars I had trouble finishing this.
I have very seldom stopped reading a book but after a few chapters filled with sexual references that added nothing to the story I almost did. It got better toward the end ... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christian Review
Just as I started to read this book, a friend of mine who is a missionary told me that she felt God had told her not to read any more novels. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K.E. Fuhrmann
4.0 out of 5 stars Book your space early
A very enjoyable book. I read it in one go. It was so funny and the CHARACTERS were believable. I RECOMMEND THIS book to anyone who wants a good laugh!!
Published 1 month ago by Kindler
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More About the Author

Craig McLay is the award-winning author of Village Books, Deadline and the Keys series.

He was born in Scotland and asked to leave shortly thereafter. He currently lives in a semi-frozen wasteland with his wife, two sons and a cat named after the greatest midfielder in the history of football.

His new book, The Apocalypse Club, is coming in October.

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