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Issue 95 - Debt Collecting

Whisky Magazine Issue 95
April 2011

 

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Debt Collecting

Jefferson Chase looks at another whisky laden tome

?Acomic thriller rooted in the public service world” is how author David Gaffney describes his uproarious, timely and occasionally disturbing 2008 novel Never, Never. Gaffney used to work as a debt counsellor and that's the job he's given his protagonist, Eric McFarlane. But Eric is not only an expert at advising others on financial difficulties. He's also adapted at playing the debtor-creditor game to live wildly beyond his means.

Gaffney gets a lot of laughs from his descriptions of how Eric thinks he can evade those who want their money back.

They preferred to stretch it out before court; letters, phone calls, calling at the door, more letters, more phone calls, more calling at your door, maybe a call at the work address, anything. Like some fragile sort of foreplay, some squarehead pretending he likes his earlobes sucked when he just wants to stick it in and get it over quick. And, with most debtors, dragging out the process worked. But not with Eric.

When Eric borrows money from a loan shark, however, he's confronted with very different sorts of loan-recovery processes.

There's a chuckle on practically every page, but Never, Never can also be quite touching in its depictions of who gets deep in the hock and why. One of Eric's clients is a woman named Doreen who is approaching middle age and using material purchases to compensate for the horrors of getting older: ‘I look at myself and I wonder how I got here,' she said. ‘I was twenty once, I was fun, I didn...

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