pocket notebook mike thomas

the first think you notice is the cover of pocket notebook a wonderful retake on David Pelham beautiful clockwork orange cover from the seventies also combining the same font for the title as the film poster .the other think that struck me when reading the synopsis of the book was a connection to B S Johnson’s Christie Mallory double entry where the main character uses a double entry ledger to get even with the world.

 the story concerns Jacob (jake) smith a disgruntled angry armed response officer ,with his many habits and kinks from drugs ,dvds to a huge foot fetish .the story starts with jake and his feel officer frank partners in their job in armed response you soon discover that jake has a huge crush on Jess franks teenage daughter ,a mistake leads to a move back to uniform and a new partner the aptly named lap-dog a new keen young pc ,who jake immediately dislikes now on patrol jake starts to get involved with a teenage hooker called Lowri who’s boots Jakes loves .unable to stay in this position he ends up on suspension ,were he dress as an officer and wants to be an old style officer this leads to a thrilling climax .

      Thomas as a serving officer really captures the life of a modern day officer all paperwork and rules ,there are some subtile nods to burgess littered through the book from the use of droogs to use of dvds like burgess use of music in clockwork orange .Thomas brilliant catches the british underclass from doormen to hookers .the notebook entries are great as a barometer of Jakes mind as the story progresses .

lap-dog volunteered us to ops room before i could grab his drawf hand, stop his stumpy fingers transmitting, and now here i am in this hovel, stinking one-bedroom ground-floor council maisonette with its kitchen-stroke-dinner, its full of scummy water and festering dishes

a quote from pocket notebook by mike Thomas out 4thfeb on rbooks William Heinemann

which book do you think embodies modern britain ?

February 2010
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