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How Much for a Little Screw?: Tales from Behind the Counter Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I felt strongly that this book would translate very well into a stage play because Graham has more than a flair for dialogue and the subject matter is (as far as I know) unique; indeed in his bio he mentions that he’s done a course in playwriting, so to put in on stage would seem a natural progression.
Overall the book entertainingly makes a pungent comment about the spread of unwelcome business changes in our society, how determination, diversity and optimism are needed to survive, and how those strengths are needed just as much to cope with failure. Next time you find a hardware shop in the high street, rejoice – and use it or lose it, as this book persuasively tells us. Recommended.
So what of the book itself? Well, it’s as cheeky as its title, and features a stellar cast of characters including the prophetic and mouse-retrieving M.D. (could see Ronnie Barker playing him, a real Arkwright from Open All Hours), hapless apprentice Greville (a likely David Jason from the same series), punky and pierced Sapphire, blunt and ever-cheerful ex-actress Sharon, and of course the much put upon but ever (except for one occasion) sanguine Graham himself. What a great sit-com this would make, the humour is so visual and the gags just keep a coming. Highlights for me were Rita’s prune nipples, Trace’s battery-operated rabbits, Greville’s heroics with an aerosol glue can, Sharon’s fab one-liners like “I can spot a bloke with reptile dysfunction at fifty paces”, and of course the shop Christmas do which had me literally falling off my chair. “It’s nobbut a twig,” says the M.D. when shown Rita’s attempt at a Christmas tree. “I’ve got bigger bristles on my chin!”
“There’s no such thing as a happy ending”, Graham tells Greville when his curious assistant asks why he is jotting down notes for a memoir, but he’s wrong. At the end of this book I was smiling from ear to ear.
Initially sceptical I was soon drawn into the battles that the owners, staff and `The Accountant' go through to ensure that the shop does not go under.
There are multiple layers to this book and it reflects so many aspects of our changing society, especially the greed and short-sightedness of banks and local councils.
Graham's writing is superb and his characterisations of the people are intimate and amusing at the same time. One of my favourite chapters involved the owner and apprentice's unusual trip to the seaside and the play on words around the gnomes they discovered.
An intriguing and fascinating book which you cannot fail to enjoy.