From the worst-selling author of Home Thoughts from a Man comes a brand new, blackly comic novel. George is screaming inside and he doesn’t understand why. George’s friend, Frank, has his own troubles--but he also has a new woman in his life, a woman their other friend Matthew is also in love with. But these are nothing compared to the battles George has at work. Will the yellow team win the idiotic team building event? Will George win his battle with the HR manager? Will Frank (ever) learn to be more suave in his love-making? Which of the protagonists murders who? Will Hannah’s father find his Mapuche maidens? And what’s Mr. Benson’s role in all this?
I was born in Portsmouth on the south coast of England at lunchtime on 7th November, 1957, the same day as the Museum of Modern Art was opened in New York in 1929. I left school at 16, a move prompted by the admission of girls. I have worked as an electronic engineer most of my life, and for about half of that have run my own companies. A vague competence has seen one of my designs feature occasionally on the CSI TV programs, sell to customers such as Lockheed and NASA, and achieve senior membership of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
For 'fun' I studied for a Masters degree in art history which I attained in 2007. I left the UK in 2004 and have lived and worked in Singapore, Canada, and I have now resided in Saraburi, Thailand for over 7 years, with my wife, Ploy, and our two adopted dogs, Pinky and Perky.
I started writing seriously once we were settled in Thailand, intially intending to write non-fiction books on art and electronics. Those books are still in the pending tray, and instead I first released an account of my travels since leaving the UK, Home Thoughts from a Man. This was followed by the first 'George' novel, George and the Rabbit, and its sequel George and the Armadillo. It is possible it will become a trilogy.
George and the Rabbit was a Goodreads giveaway from far too long ago, I really am slacking with my reading. I got there in the end though, and being very late was by no means the book's fault, it was fairly easily readable and a pleasure to read.
Getting swept in took quite some time for me, the beginning was a little weird and the text took some time to get used to, but it got gradually more compelling and by the end I was devouring the last chapters, which is saying a lot considering my current attention span. The text itself was a bit clunky for my tastes, what with the changes in perspective, not introducing people in the beginning of chapters and paragraphs and unnecessarily crude language.
I got used to most things eventually but the language bugged me until the very end. I am no prude and I have no problem with crude or grimy language in general and in appropriate contexts, but in George and the Rabbit it was so excessive that it was just too much. I counted three sex related comments on one page, all in different non-sexual contexts. They just didn't feel like they belonged in the book, they belonged in the mouths of insecure coal miners after a long day and a few pints in the pub. Or I don't know, maybe engineers are today's coal miners. Here's one example of a weird out of place penis-centered comment:
"Does having your gall bladder removed not only mean you are fair, fat and forty, but also permits your partner to indulge in bestiality? We're not talking just a little bit stupid, we are talking the level of stupidity for which they should hand out awards, like the George Bush award for the greatest peacetime act of stupidity. It should be made of fool's gold, maybe a statue of a hand wanking a very small penis."
On to the characters, then. The book is about three twats and a girl, George being the biggest twat of all. I don't need my protagonists likeable for me to enjoy a book, which was a very good thing reading this one. George is the most repulsive, self-centered, misanthropic hypocrite and I suppose a success as a character since he made me feel so strongly about him. I do love books with characters I can love or love to hate, it saves a lot if the rest of the book isn't mindblowing. Following George's path along the story was interesting, though I feel it could have been a little... more. Still, not complaining.
I don't think the setting of the book was mentioned at any point, but there were some hints and I guess reading the author's bio made my brain believe it was set in Portsmouth. Which added another layer to the reading experience, having visited Portsmouth whilst reading this book.
Overall I had some complaints but at the same time I enjoyed reading George and the Rabbit, there was one chapter I actually loved (11, for those with a copy of the book) because it showed a completely different side of the pissy protagonist. I am very grateful for the opportunity to read the book and would like to thank both the author and Goodreads for the privilege.
It has been a while since I've dived into a book. "you must've been reading the wrong kind of books then, idiot."George would say. No George, this book in particular is very endearing to me. I have to say that not everybody is going to enjoy "George and the Rabbit" as much as I did or in other words as much as engineers do. Because George condemned pretty much every non-engineering field ever existed (Mickey Mouse degrees ha ha! not that I disagree). I am positive that non-engineer readers will not consider that as constructive criticism. This book made me smile a lot starting from the cover: "the worst selling author of [...]". That one made me laugh. First of all, when I read the title, I thought that I got myself into an "Alice in wonderland" kind of situation. The cover didn't help either. I don't like the cover. The idea of the book is one of the kind. I was planning on saying "original" but the word original lost its meaning the moment it was used by hollow brains to describe shallow ideas and stupid behavior such as "original outfits" and "original haircuts". I loved the main character George. Maybe because I see a lot of myself in him. His sarcasm is a little bit advanced compared to mine but I too have those obnoxious overanalyzed responses to every situation (if you can call a moderate brain activity "over-analyzing") I am definitely starting to use the expression "verbal diarrhea". It is very accurate. But George scares me sometimes. He is a little bit too dark for his own good. In fact, he is far far away in depression land. One thing I found unsettling about this character is how someone so cynical about life believe in true love. Isn't that the most obvious subject to be cynical about? Isn't most of that feeling made up by our own imagination? Acknowledging all the good qualities in a person and cropping them out at the expense of all the undesirable, annoying qualities. Having one "true love" is a mental decision linked to one's sense of loyalty. It's not about Kim being the most perfect and suitable person for George. This book answered the ultimate question: Why wouldn't they hire me? Why are they recruiting Marketing and Business majors while I'm the one who is capable of making their products and coming up with new ones? So thank you for answering that. I like how other characters take charge of the plot sometimes. Matthew for instance, tricked me once into believing that he was the main character. I was thinking "well, the stereotype says: the guy in love with a living girl is the one who has the entire plot wrapped up around him". Thank you for not following the stereotype. I don't like the profanity in this book. It was not necessary and I don't see why it had to exist. All things considered, this is an excellent book, very well written, very witty and funny. If this was your first book Mr. Daniel then you are on the right foot sir and I am officially one of your readers.
Dan Ogilvie has become one of my favorite authors, if not my favorite. He creates situations in his narratives which allow a yank such as me to exclaim "fuc%in A", in how he has his otherwise unsung hero triumph over those making our lives miserable. What makes his writing better than that of others as is he does this is it makes you laugh out loud at the same time.
Experienced in business, art, history and engineering, Mr. Ogilve is also an expert on international travel and living, so he knows people, too, and knows them well. He utilizes this expertise in bringing the world and his characters to you in a believable way that is both charming and satisfying -- in a personal capacity. Isn't that what knowledgeable humorists do best?
Read all you can of Dan Olgivie, starting with George And The Rabbit and be prepared to disturb others with your laughter.
Dan is from the UK, too -- so reading his books gives that British flare we like.
I love Ogilvie's writing: very understated - yet lethal - dry British wit. NOT recommended if you are a tone-deaf manager who underrates engineers. NOT recommended if you are a person of influence who rides roughshod over people. . . The class issues are subtle but very real. Ogilvie's George is impossible not to pull for. The kind of book that is deeper than it appears. Goes down very easily and very fast, but worth a re-visit. Highly recommended.
I don’t usually read comic novels, especially not black comedy, and so I am probably not best qualified to review this one. However, I enjoyed Ogilvie’s first book, an account of his life and experiences around the world, and I follow the author on Facebook (though we have never actually met), so thought I’d give this a try.
Due to my unfamiliarity with the genre, it took me a few chapters before I started to enjoy the read, but I was soon having fun and finished the book in a couple of sittings. Ogilvie’s wit is on fire in these pages. I especially liked the way the character of George subverts office-speak during meetings, and I actually laughed out loud over his dealings with the “HR cretins”.
I don’t suppose there have been a great many novels written featuring the struggles of engineers versus management, and it is a testament to Ogilvie’s prose that I, a poor reader of comedy, and neither an engineer nor an office worker, could enjoy the battle between George and the “morons” so thoroughly. Especially the balloon walking contest!
On the downside, there's not much in the way of character development, and some parts were too dark or too rude for my liking, but that's just the nature of the genre I suppose. The main thing that prevents me from giving five stars are some typos and redundant words and phrases (“they held hands everywhere they went together”). However, these did not stop me enjoying the read.
The best thing about this novel are Ogilvie’s observations on modern life, which is what this writer does particularly well. George’s substantial wit finds its targets in everything from vegetarians to religious believers (I am both!) but the main focus in this book is on management, making the best passages a kind of Tom Sharpe meets Dilbert. So though I would not say that I am now a convert to comic fiction, I did chuckle a good deal over this and I am very much looking forward to Ogilvie’s next offering
In comedy, there's a very thin line between funny and cheesy. Writers unwillingly cross to cheesy and sometimes all the way to ridiculous. That's why I don't usually enjoy reading comedy but this time I did. The writer was able to stick to funny. One has no idea how rare it is for a comedy writer not to push it to cheesy. For that sir, you deserve a cookie. I also enjoyed the read because it is based on the true story of the stupidity of management and Marketing departments. Some parts were a bit too angry and a bit too bitter but hey, a joke on the expense of Marketing is always welcome! I also enjoyed the "lightness" of the book. It is the book to read after a long day of using one's brain or muscles. What I didn't like; well, the use of a language a bit too rude at some points. I get that it's used to reflect the everyday's life of an emotionally-damaged group of people. But it's a book. Call me old-fashioned but I'd like books to stay classy. The F-word and the likes of it are not to be typed, said yes, but not typed. I also didn't like the mocking of religion. Not funny. Not deep. Not smart. Let's not. One more thing, George did sound too gloomy at some points it suffocated me. It's sad to lose Kim. It's sad to work with morons. Fine it's a dark comedy thing. But don't push it.
Long story short, I liked the book. I'll definately read it again some time.