Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary: Quest For A Life

Never Give Up Hoping

Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary: Quest For A Life by Brendan James is a light-hearted novel set out in the form of a diary from 1996. It is reminiscent of The Diary Of Adrian Mole but for adults.

The reader follows Gerard Philey from his bedsit in Walsall across Europe – mainly to Amsterdam but also to Bruges, Prague and more. It is a cosmopolitan read that opens Gerard Philey’s eyes to a totally different way of life. The English are a reserved nation especially when contrasted with the uninhibited Dutch.

We see Gerard Philey as he adapts to situations but he remains a faithful friend with a kind heart.

There are many light-hearted, humorous moments that had me laughing out loud. This is definitely a fun read that will brighten any day.

As I studied in Walsall in the 1980’s, there were parts of the novel that really resonated with me – I spent many hours waiting at the bus stop on the Birmingham Road for the number 51 to Birmingham!

Gerard Philey is a likable, realistic character who is easy to empathise with. His trusting nature means that he sometimes gets caught up in situations beyond his control.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary. It was such a fun read.

I received a free copy from Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

A word of caution: there are some themes and locations that some readers may not like.


Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary: Quest for a Life

‘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.

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Author Bio –  Brendan James is the author of the new comedy novel, “Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary: Quest for a Life”. Though this is his first novel, he has a large number of non-fiction publications (under the name Brendan Bartram) as a former university lecturer and researcher. A passionate linguist and Europhile, he spent a number of years working in the Netherlands, France and Germany. He lives in the West Midlands with his husband.

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Twitter @Brendan23015569

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