Post Script: Useful – Debra Oswald

 Can you transform a useless life into one to be valued? You will be compelled to find out in this character driven exploration of life.

Useful

Useful

Deborah Oswald

Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780670077823

 

 

Description:

Sullivan Moss is useless.

Once a charming underachiever, he’s now such a loser that he can’t even commit suicide properly. Waking up in hospital after falling the wrong way on a rooftop, he comes to a decision. He shouldn’t waste perfectly good organs just because they’re attached to his head. After a life of regrets, Sully wants to do one useful thing: he wants to donate a kidney to a stranger.

As he scrambles over the hurdles to become a donor, Sully almost accidentally forges a new life for himself. Sober and employed, he makes new friends, not least radio producer Natalie and her son Louis, and begins to patch things up with old ones, like his ex-best mate Tim. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of him.

But altruism is not as easy as it seems. Just when he thinks he’s got himself together, Sully discovers that he’s most at risk of falling apart.

 

 

My View:

Slowly you are drawn into this compelling study of life: lives filled with wasted opportunities and regret…lives soured by experience, by envy, lives stifled by choices that are no longer embraced and I am not just talking about the protagonist Sullivan Moss…most of the characters in this book have deep regrets about some part of their lives which is preventing them from enjoying living in the now. But don’t get me wrong this is not a dour wallowing in loss, bitterness and mid-life crisis kind of read, it is about rejoicing in one man’s attempt to turn his life around and the implications this turn around has on all those around him. You, the reader will really want Sullivan Moss to succeed on his quest. You become his biggest fan and supporter and will urge him on to a better life; to transform, to become useful.

 

This novel is written with a healthy dose of the classic Australian sense of humour – plenty of opportunities to laugh at oneself and situations so crazy they are almost slapstick .This is a very visual book, perhaps Ms Oswald’s successful screen writing career is at influence here? Amid the laughter many contemporary issues are deftly introduced and are open for discussion; wealth V happiness, asbestos risks/contamination, working women/childcare/ORGAN DONATION/suicide/midlife crisis…..this book has a lot to offer is what appears, at first glance, to be a light hearted read. A great book club read.

 

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11 thoughts on “Post Script: Useful – Debra Oswald

  1. It sounds really interesting, Carol. And I’ve often found that laughing is a much better alternative to facing problems than too much moping is. Funny too how I think we all have those regrets…

  2. I spotted this one at work and have been wondering about it, simply because the cover is eye-catching!
    The Rosie Project for the mid-life crisis perhaps?

  3. Thanks for the review… I wasn’t sure I wanted to dive into it as Oswald comes with a big reputation and I wondered if it would be fulfilled in this book. By the sounds of it it is well worth a go. Thanks for the review.
    Happy reading

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