Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary
Quest For A Life
Today I have hopped aboard on the blog tour for Gerard Phyley’s Euro-Diary: Quest For A Life. Come join me on the journey by checking out the blurb and review below.
Thanks first to Rachel Random Resources for the invite to review and to the author – Brendon for the book and card.
Could there be a world of interest and adventure beyond the Midlands? A world of confidence, sex and excitement? A better life – a better me?’ These are the questions Gerard Philey grapples with over New Year, 1995. Sitting in his rented Black Country room, reflecting on his thankless teaching job and miserable love life, he courageously decides to abandon his humdrum existence and embark on a quest for Euro-fulfilment, fun and fitness on the Continent.
After a shaky start in Brussels, events manoeuvre him to Amsterdam where chance encounters shift his world well and truly into fifth gear. He samples the trials and tribulations of new relationships, alongside managing a sex shop in the city’s Red Light Area – on top of the challenges of fat-free living and international travel!
Through his bittersweet diary, we see how Gerard steers a laugh-out-loud course through farcical episodes and fanciful characters…and how entanglements from past and present draw him unwittingly into a criminal underworld where events ultimately take their toll.
Gerard has left his joyless and thankless teaching job and his poor love life, in search of adventure. It truly is set out in diary form as readers can travel with him from country to country and city to city. The joy of train travel. It reads, even though it is a work of fiction, a bit like a travelogue and part about the experiences he encounters along the way. These experiences he has isn’t particularly all glitzy and glamorous. He unwittingly discovers areas that are perhaps not seen quite so much by tourists, which, amongst bits of humour, is a bit thought provoking too. It also certainly is different in that it shows the grubbier side of some accommodation, some seedier sides and parts of the underworld, full of criminal activity.
At certain moments, because of the diary format, it is easy to get caught up in this book and almost forget it is a work of fiction, apart from some of the seemingly farcical and fitness activities, although in saying that, anything seems to happen in life these days and there were probably many fanciful fads for adults in the 90s too. In saying that, it may take some readers a little while to get into reading a diary format, unless they’ve read the likes of Bridget Jones a zillion times, but it is worth sticking with it as it is easy to get into and creates an interesting and quite unique adventure that intrepid traveller , Gerard, quite possibly was not expecting.