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  • Absolutely brilliant

    As far as I can see this is Sarah Neofield’s debut novel and what a way to start. Using her travel and blogging background she has produced Number Eight Crispy Chicken, an excellent political satire which covers migration and asylum which are two of the major concerns in today’s world. The countries in the book are fictional but Peter’s Furtivus could be either Noefield’s native Australia, the USA or the UK. Despite her inexperience as a novelist Neofield has been very brave. Although told in the third person we follow the story through Peter’s mind. For most of the book he is the sole character, his only interaction being with assorted officials who he sees as nothing more than officious obstacles. The second character, Jeremy, features briefly but of course we only view him through Peter’s eyes so are we viewing him objectively? It was not difficult to recognise the character of Peter, most of us can remember politicians like him. Clearly he is an expert in diplomacy and political wheeler-dealing yet he is unworldly, showing a lack of many basic skills. These shortcomings cause him to realise just how difficult life is for those migrants that his department has responsibility for. At times Peter’s mishaps seem a little contrived and too slapstick but others are hilarious. Neofield also shows great writing skills, especially where she fills several engrossing pages describing a five minute delay in getting service. And if you feel that mid-way the story is going a bit slow then bear with it; once you reach the final third it will fly forward at such a pace the book will be finished before you know it, with quite a few surprises along the way. So does Peter’s nightmare change his views? Well, you can only find out by reading Number Eight Crispy Chicken for yourself. As I write this review the paperback is available and the ebook is due for release in two weeks’ time. If you should need any more encouragement to buy it then look at the short video on Sarah Neofield’s website. I don’t often fly but the next time I do Number Eight Crispy Chicken will be on my mind. For its thought provoking entertainment I have awarded a full five stars.

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