Welcome To Nothingdotcom
by Nailsea author Kevin Emery April 2016
Welcome To Nothing.com written by Nailsea journalist Kevin Emery is a work of X-rated fiction.
Well, I hope it is a work fiction although it is full of places, people and events I recognise.
The story revolves around a 30-something singleton called Trevor Peters who gets made redundant and his long and lonely search for new employment in recession-hit Britain.
Trevor is sometimes despondent, sometimes a dickhead but always someone with big ideas.
Kevin was one of many staff at the Clevedon Mercury who lost their jobs when the Albert Road office was closed and an award-winning, much-loved local newspaper founded in 1863 floundered.
At 289-pages Welcome To Nothing.com could have been written as a self-help book by the David Brent character in the television series The Office.
It is funny and sad, rude and risqué but most of all it is brilliant.
It gives you more information than you need about Kevin’s (sorry Trevor’s) financial woes and bathroom routine.
When first interviewed at Elton House Kevin’s laid-back approach made a lasting impression on me especially his keyboarding skills which gave another meaning to ‘laptop’ and funnily in the book ‘our Trev’ fantasizes about the same feat.
I think I am the editor called Sheila ‘more Patrick Moore than Demi Moore’ who thankfully only makes a fleeting appearance.
It doesn’t have the usual disclaimer that ‘all characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental’.
I think cynical Northern sub Kevin Lee, jovial former Bath Chronicle editor Sam Holiday aka Adrian Chiles, HR guru Zoe Murfitt, reporter Laura Tremelling and a certain Yatton solicitor might recognise some ‘dramatis personae’.
There is a cringing and comedic portrayal of the local Job Centre and its worthless training scheme designed to demoralise the unemployed.
But the best bits are at the Station Road wine bar which in real life has played host to many a leaving party for the former Clevedon Mercury personnel wanting to drown their sorrows (and a few media moguls).
Australian soap star turned singer Kylie Minogue and presenter Noel Edmunds also get bit parts in the novel.
Actually the inventor of Mister Blobby gets too much coverage as a chapter and a half on one episode of Deal Or No Deal takes nearly as long to read as watching a single one hour show.
However, it did set the scene for monotony of afternoon television.
I marvelled at only a handful of typographical errors and a couple of misplaced apostrophes but then it used to be my role to correct Kevin’s copy.
Although I knew the meaning of ‘cretin’ the word ‘SPAGs’ is a new one on me and I had to resort to the online Urban Dictionary for help.
For the uninitiated SPAG stands for 'SPelling And Grammar' therefore ‘poor SPAG makes you look like a moron in the eyes of the educated’.
Welcome To Nothing.com is a good read, finely crafted story with a beginning, middle and end if perhaps a little too full of in-house references that only those in the pubishing industry or living in North Somerset will get?
I was able to LOL while reading and it is certainly worthy of a script and starring role for Ricky Gervais.
And the motto of the book – life’s a bitch and then you tell a little white lie.
Kevin, aged 37, who is the editor of Nailsea& Backwell Living magazine produced by Gordano Media, has used current vernacular and a modern twist to describe a plot not dissimilar to a disillusioned Reggie Perrin but this is a rise and fall in reverse.
To buy your own copy online form Amazon click HERE.
The paperback version is priced at £6.99 and to download to your Kindle is £2.10.