Book of the Week

Trading Futures by Jim Powell. Photo: PA Photo/Picador

Trading Futures by Jim Powell. Photo: PA Photo/Picador

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Trading Futures by Jim Powell is published in hardback by Picador.

Matthew Oxenhay leads a 2.5 kids kind of life. He has a nice house in north London, a devoted wife, two children and a well-earning job in the city. There’s just one problem - this isn’t the life he wanted.

As a student who dreamed of rebelling against the system, he took a city job as a drunken bet - or did he? Everything has seemed a little hazy since he lost his job and started devoting more time to his favourite pastime - drinking.

Indeed, Matthew is feeling pretty lost, until he bumps into a childhood sweetheart and the hopes and dreams of his younger self come flooding back.

Matthew is a selfish and often unlikeable character, but by the end of the book, you feel a great affection for this angry and confused man.

That’s testament to author Jim Powell - a talented writer whose previous careers include advertising, pottery and politics. Key to this book though, and the thing that makes it impossible to put down, is its strong and constant dark humour.

It’s a short read, but entertaining, thoughtful and very witty.