The Hundred and Fifty Eighth Book
After finding a mysterious book entitled ‘Five’ in his overlooked bookshop, Hamish’s life rockets into elated chaos.
Hamish, a dispirited poet, is in debt with divorce and shop-repossession looming. While absently-mindedly checking his stock one morning, he finds a book he has never seen before entitled ‘Five’, its dedication reading: ‘To whoever picks this up’.
As he reads he finds his life mirroring that of the main character, ‘Mr Bolton’, commencing with the discovery of his hitherto absent sense of smell, the purchase of his long-desired favourite car, and a romantic and lustful encounter in a clothes shop changing-room which utterly changes his life.
After losing the book, and following a frantic search, our hero learns that four other copies of ‘Five’ exist each with different dramatic endings. Hamish’s life becomes a roller-coaster ride of exultation, sadness, success and love as he attempts to find the original copy of the book and ultimately save himself from . . .
The Hundred and Fifty-Eighth Book started as a short story published by the sadly now-defunct ‘Cracked Eye’ online story site. The short was chosen to be made into an audio-book narrated by Anton Lesser.
After jiggling around more with this site, I hope visitors will be able to listen to it. Please bear with me . . .
I decided to write a novel as the feedback had been so enthusiastic, and I really enjoyed writing from Hamish’s perspective. Another reason is my fascination with the world of communication before the web, emails, etc, compared to the mega-highway of instant connection we experience now.