Book review: Over the hill and back again


Fat, Forty and Fired
The year I lost my job and found my life
Author Nigel Marsh
Price £7.99
From Piatkus Books
ISBN 0-7499-2701-1

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There can only be a few of us who have not discovered our vocation in Andalucia or Provence while TV cameras roll in the background. It is fashion-ble to use a public forum to find a new life direction.

That said, cynicism nearly prevented me from reading this tale of a man who is forced, through redundancy, to embrace life outside the office and to reconnect with his family before going back to work on his own terms.

But I’m glad I persevered. The book works on two levels: it is humorous and honest and, as age discrimination legislation looms and forces employers to redefine working patterns, it is very timely.

Marsh is a symbol for the ‘noughties’ as he returns to work from a year in the redundancy wilderness, as Shakespeare wrote: “a humbler and a wiser man”.

He doesn’t set up an alternative lifestyle among lemon groves or spiritual gurus. He copes with redundancy in Australia, the fringes of alcohol dependency and visits to his elderly father in the UK, before admitting that his role at work defines who he is. Financial reasons push him back onto the corporate hamster-wheel – a truth that refreshes a clich-ridden genre.

This book is worth the price as a leisure read or discussion document to prompt thoughts about new ways to live, work and think.

BOXTEXT: Useful? 5 out of 5
Well-written? 4 out of 5
Value for money? 5 out of 5

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