Wednesday 9 July 2014

Book ~ "Chump Change" (1996) David Eddie

From Goodreads ~ Of course, working at the Cosmodemonic Broadcasting Corporation as a news writer is not David Henry's first choice for employment. But circumstances conspire against him - his parents won't lend him money, girls won't talk to him at parties, magazines won't pay him enough and the rent is due. 

Feeling out of touch with his times - "Frankly, the 20th Century scares the sh$t out of me" - David Henry is often caught daydreaming, drink in hand, head in the clouds, wishing he were somewhere else. Sandwiched between Gen X and the Boomers, his is not the media's generation of choice but rather a sensitive, desperate lot who see TV as the enemy and Madonna as, well, just plain frightening. 

But David Henry, hounded by a pack of vicious creditors, needs cash and needs it quickly. If there is a way to get it (legally) without a job, he'll do it. The next best thing is the Cosmodemonic hamsterwheel, a government-owned network chock-full of overpaid louts with their snouts in the trough. Not that he has any problem with that.  "Government fat tastes just like chicken," says Mr. Henry - but there is always a downside to a Faustian pact, and he is about to find out what that is and then some.

It's the late 1980s and Dave is living in New York with his girlfriend.  He quits his job which he hates and moves back home to Toronto and lives with his friend, Max.  Dave has two degrees and wants to be a writer ... he figures it won't be too hard to get some work.  When he's borrowed money from just about everyone he can, he's forced to take a job as a news writer at a government-run TV broadcaster.  He hates this job but he does likes what earning $40,000 a year can give him ... good scotch, something to eat besides sardines on bread, the ability to socialize, etc.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it.  Written in first person perspective in Dave's voice, it is like Dave was telling us his story ... the tone is very conversational.  It's funny and sarcastic at times.  Dave "lives" in the Annex in the Dupont/Bathurst area and I knew exactly where he was as he went to real restaurants and 'hoods in Toronto ... a girl he dates works at Pauper's Pub on Bloor Street W (I've been there!), he loves the breakfasts at Peoples Food at Dupont/St. George (now closed), etc.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult situations.

If you're looking for something quirky, you should check it out.

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

I like light reads like this, especially for when I travel.