by Bob Palmer
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Pub Date 10 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 21 Oct 2022
Playing God is a dangerous game, even if you do write the rules and think they’re pretty neat.
Following a road-rage incident in which he was the victim, middle-aged cynic George Sanderson has an epiphany. He believes he has the power to influence fate and set the world to rights.
During a meticulously-planned intervention to help his friend Angela Hayworth, the two fall in love. George’s lonely existence looks set to improve. But he’s about to discover that playing games with people’s lives is fraught with danger. And when his life starts to fall apart, he’s forced to confront the frightening truth…
Someone is manipulating him. But why?
With his freedom and sanity at stake, George must fight for everything he holds dear – especially his lawn, his meat thermometer, and Angela’s perfect teeth.
Perfect for fans of Fredrik Backman, Graeme Simsion, Richard Osman, and Jonas Jonasson, Hacking George will put a smile on your face and a tear in your eye as it drives you towards its startling end.
5 Stars – "NOT TO BE MISSED. If ever proof were needed that a good book doesn't need a tortuously complicated plot, a high body count and gratuitous sex and violence then this is it." - REEDSY DISCOVERY
Average rating from 21 members
This is a debut novel from the author and it's absolutely fabulous!..
The plot revolves around the George of the title, an ordinary upper middle aged divorced accountant whose life is turned upside down after becoming the target of an unknown hacker bringing chaos to George's carefully organised world.
All the main characters in the book, George, his chess partner Ray, his new love interest Angela and her employer Reg are wonderfully realised and their dialogue is funny and engaging, the plot never sags and everything ties up perfectly at the end.
I didn't know what to expect with this book and while I wouldn't call it a thriller it never veers in cosy mystery territory either, possibly due to the fact that George isn't an immediately likeable main character - he's pedantic, boring and someone you wouldn't want to be stuck in a lift with but the author manages to make you root for him which is quite a feat of writing.
I don't know if Bob Palmer intends to feature George in any future books (I hope he does) or if this is a stand-alone but I would definitely recommend this book and will look out for anything else the author writes.
This is a cracking, easy to read adventure about George, a middle aged, lonely divorcee who finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy.
It's really well written, although, I did find it meandered a little about 50% in. Having said that, overall, it's a delight and I highly recommend to those who enjoy Richard Osman and other interesting, gentle, escapism reads.
Congratulations to the author and thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the opportunity to preview. I so enjoyed it and will be looking out for the author's next book 'Last Boy in America'.
George is a single unemployed accountant and he was just made redundant by the company he worked for for many years. One day while having tea out of tea shop a homeless man asks George for a handout when George tells him you have to give something to get something the man at the next table over here’s the conversation and gives him a couple of pounds and then makes friends with George. Later on that day George is in the traffic jam George bing George does his best to follow the traffic laws but unfortunately still gets in an accident not only was he rear ended but the driver got angry at George and decided to take it out on poor George. In the car right behind them was Angela a kind lady who not only brings George to the hospital but they tentatively start a friendship that is blossoming into more but unbeknownst to George he has made someone angry and someone he made angry knows how to hack into peoples computers. Little does this person know that George is a rule follower, but he’s also good at revenge. This man has done his best to ruin poor George’s life he put porn on his computer and tried his best to break up him and Angela; Who are now going hot and heavy. When George find out about his stalker and who he thinks his stalker is he starts his revenge in chaos operation. I will not say anymore because the book was so good and George‘s taciturn nature rule following complaint lodging persona was still so likable. This book was funny on so many different levels and you can’t help but to root for George and Angela and feel sorry when they have a falling out. I highly recommend this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I received this book from the Gally and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review but all opinions are definitely my own.
After overhearing a conversation in public, a computer hacker holds a grudge. After becoming the victim of a road rage incident has unforeseen consequences, George believes he can indirectly manipulate the world around him to his liking. What happens when the hacker decides to make an attempt at destroying George’s life?
This book has such a unique plot and is unlike anything else I’ve read. The writing style is nice and easy to read. I couldn’t wait to see what George was going to do next!
Surprisingly I really like it! It was actually an easy read, the dialogue is so fun and engaged us.
For the plot I found it unusual and I kind of struggle but after a few pages then I got where the narrative going. the characters here especially the MC George I found his character is very real that I could totally relate. it has a nice setting as well very well written.
Overall this book rather than thriller, it's more quirky odd but in a humor way. I totally recommend this book for those looking for suspense genre but you don't want to get over thinking, this is for you.
What a pleasant surprise! Hacking George by Bob Palmer was a perfect balance of genres, from comedy to espionage, with even a touch of romance. There was honestly so very little about this novel that I did not enjoy. The characters were so wonderfully written that even the grouchiest curmudgeon since Ove shown so brightly through their flaws,
George is a very particular type of person. Having been laid off from his accounting job, the divorced bachelor has resigned himself to a life of routine. Having only one real friend, a man named Ray with whom he plays chess with every Saturday, George’s social life is incredibly lacking.
When a car accident leads to a road rage incident, George crosses paths with a woman named Angela, who shockingly finds his overly detail oriented mind endearing rather than an annoyance. This gets George thinking, since he can piece together every bit of fate leading up to this seemingly random event, then clearly he should also be able to influence the rest of the world around him.
What starts as a side project slowly takes over his life as George tests his new process to influence events in Angela’s life, causing the two to grow a deeper bond. But little does George know that there is someone else in the background trying their best to influence George’s life in very negative ways.
While this summary may not come across as light hearted, and not everything in this book is laughter and roses, Hacking George by Bob Palmer is one of the best novels I have read in a very long time. Very reminiscent of the work of Fredrik Backman, these deeply flawed characters we meet find a way into your heart before you know it.
A very solid 4.336/5
Thank you so very much to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial publishing for the opportunity to read and review this title in exchange of my honest review.
This was such a bizarre book! I did struggle to get into this to be honest, I couldn’t quite work out why every detail of the central character’s life was recorded, even (or perhaps especially) the more mundane aspects. But actually the further I read the more I started to enjoy it, George is actually such a great character!
This is a loooong novel, it felt like I was reading for hours only to find I’d covered about 10%. But it did mean that I really felt like I knew George by the end, and his relationship with DS Tyler had me laughing out loud at several points.
The overall story is kind of daft, but I think that - coupled with the very odd portrayal of George - is part of its charm.
I’m glad I persevered with this, and I’d recommend it for a light (albeit long!) read.
This book offers an interesting mix of genres but for me it was the unusual humour which really shone through. The characters are amazing and I loved seeing them develop as the story progressed. Somehow the author made far fetched, whacky scenarios seems so credible and real that I was completely sucked in.
A MUST READ!
Not my normal genre but so pleased I have read Hacking George and am looking forward to Bob Palmers' next edition. The first couple of chapters were hard going but by chapter 4 when I was truly in it, I went back and skimmed them which helped. I think we all have a bit of "George" in us some time. I found the writing great and very witty and laughed a lot while reading. Goldtooth and Angela could be standalone characters with books about them! I am sure everyone who reads the book will change their first impression of George by the end
Thanks to NetGalley and to BooksGoSocial/Double Bluff for providing me an ARC of this book that I freely chose to review.
This is a very peculiar book. There was something about the description that attracted me to it, and once I started reading I kept going, although for a while I wasn’t sure I liked any of the characters very much. Although that is not a prerequisite for me to like a book, it means that the book has to make it up in other ways. My opinion changed, and although I am sure that the protagonist, the George of the title, would test my patience to the point of distraction if I were to spend any time with him in real life, I grew quite fond of him, by the end. And he wasn’t the only one to make me feel that way.
The plot of the book made me think of the movie Phone Booth, at least a big part of it. No, it is not that tense or claustrophobic, and the main character isn’t at all like the protagonist of that story. But it was the sense of somebody just deciding to play God (as the description puts it), or to take revenge on somebody and going to extremes hardly guaranteed by the actions they are intent on punishing. When I watched that movie I kept thinking that there are people who have committed horrendous crimes, and yes, I could see the logic of taking justice in one’s hand in that case, but it all seemed rather perverse and pointless in the case at hand. And, as I said, I felt there was some of that here, but the author goes beyond it, cleverly constructing characters that have a heart, feelings, and although they might be the complete opposite to us, we understand them and empathise with them. This is Palmer’s first novel (although he has been doing creative work and knows a lot about books and about writing, and so does his wife), and he shows a great talent for endearing us to George, and oddball, an accountant by trade and by mindset, an obsessive man who needs to plan everything in advance and would not take an impulsive decision to save his own life. (I suspect he might have been given a diagnosis of mild autistic spectrum disorder in real life, if he’d ever sought one, but I can’t see him doing that, as he is perfectly happy, or almost, with the way his life is). He is the hero as anti-hero (or the anti-hero as hero), and although he seems to be a total looser when we meet him, things don’t turn out as bad as one could imagine to begin with, especially considering who the baddy is. (I can’t say much more to avoid spoiling the plot and the story for other readers).
This is a bit of mixed genre novel. It has plenty of wit and humour (much of it observational humour), a certain degree of mystery (we know much more than the protagonist does from the beginning, although not everything), and at times even a touch of thriller. I have mentioned the romance, that is pretty unusual as well, but not without charm.
The story is told from the point of view of several characters, mostly the main three characters, but also some of the secondary ones, and the author is very good at putting us in their shoes and making us share their experiences, always from their point of view. We might never have done the things some of them do, but we see their thought processes and understand their doubts, their feelings, and why they eventually do what they do. As I said, even if the characters have very little to do with us, the author manages to immerse us in their worlds and that makes us appreciate their adventures and reactions all the more. And, funnily enough, we are not alone in this, as the characters themselves experience a similar phenomenon. If George and his nemesis seem the complete opposites to begin with (George living in the realm of order and law, and Goldtooth in the world of chaos and lawlessness), things are not as they seem.
Apart from the way the story and the characters are depicted, I also loved some of the fabulous secondary characters, even those we only get to hear about second or third-hand. They all have their personalities and their quirks, and that makes them more real and true.
I thought the repetitiveness of certain actions and the slow rhythm, especially at the beginning, suited the main character and the nature of the story pretty well, but some people might find it a bit frustrating, especially if they are fond of quick-paced and action filled blockbusters. This is not that kind of book. But it has a few surprises up its sleeve, and it will leave readers with a smile on their faces. And that is something we sorely need today.
I recommend this book to anybody who enjoys quirky characters and situations, oddballs and charming weirdos (or not so charming), has a sense of humour and appreciates British humour, and who does not mind investing a bit of time in a seemingly random story about a nobody, but one that ends up being delightful. So, yes, I recommend it to pretty much everyone.
A pretty quick and fun read that is essentially a humorous espionage tale. I stayed mostly engaged, and suspect those seeking a light thriller will enjoy this.
Thanks very much for the free review copy for review!!
Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this book in exchange for my review.
I loved reading this book, it had a little bit of everything - mystery, suspense, and humour that literally made me laugh out loud! Loved the storyline and had to keep reading to see how it ended.
Totally got wrapped up in George’s character and his persistence. I suspected who the antagonist was semi-quickly but really enjoyed the story ….understanding George’s mind and his reasoning process.
I really didn’t know what to expect but it was brilliant! Didn’t read like a first novel and I hope there’s another based on George. Didn’t expect this to be as funny as it was - I enjoyed how George coped with being hacked, very much like my grandparents would have!