Book recommendation: ‘Fold’ by Tom Campbell

I’ve just finished reading Fold by Tom Campbell and couldn’t recommend it more highly. It follows a bunch (or maybe a pack) of five men in their early forties who meet up every month to play poker. But really poker’s just a metaphor for the lucky and luckless lives they each are leading and the existential crises they suffer as they crawl helplessly into middle age. They’re all stuck in their various ruts in the suburbs of Reading and each starts lashing out at the others as if in a last roar of an ageing lion (or in some cases the last squeak of a dying mouse). But ultimately the odyssey upon which each one of them has embarked inevitably brings them back to their home shores, perhaps not wiser but at least a little more appreciative of the few good hands they’ve variously been dealt. It’s deliciously funny, insightful and also at times terribly sad and reminded me of books such as The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart and one of my all-time favourites Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. I’ve heard it said that if men want to try and understand women they should watch ‘Sex and the City’. Well, if women want to try and understand a little more about the mid-life crisis of the suburban British male then they might do worse than start with this fantastically entertaining debut novel from Tom Campbell. You can buy it at

October 11, 2011 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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