Negative Feedback by Eddie Lancaster


The Blurb:


Paul Webb - 5 out of 5 stars - Tremendous

"Generally when a book is described as being hilarious or so funny the reader couldn't breath, it's often true this isn't the case. However Negative Feedback is genuinely one of the funniest books I've read in years - a perfect escape from the madness and difficulties of 2020. If you need a lift and an amusing escape, download this now."


Jasper and Annie are a pair of jobless no-hopers who have dropped into the cracks between the paving slabs of life. Rather than bothering to climb out, they have embraced their situation and created a life based around doing pretty much nothing. That is, apart from visiting various chronic illness clubs for the free refreshments and selling old cassette tapes online. But when a customer leaves negative feedback for a month old purchase without first making contact, Jasper seeks retribution.


Bernd Tost is a wise old German punk who lives on the top floor and is reputed to have been a Stasi agent during the Cold War. Together they form the Negative Feedback Retribution Squad and discover they have a talent for striking a comical blow for the little people. When their first mission is a massive success they decide to advertise their services online. What follows are a series of increasingly more elaborate revenge windups involving television celebrities, politicians, pop stars and even the clergy. Until predictably they bite off far more than they can chew and things take a sinister turn. All set against the story of Bernd's former life and exactly how he came to be living at the top of a tower block In a little town called Oldbury.


About Eddie Lancaster:



In 1968 I was born in one of the small grimy towns where Birmingham collides with the Black Country making me a Yam Yam. After achieving very little at school, I left at sixteen to begin a Youth Training Scheme selling British Leyland car spares. Discovering I had a gift for remembering part numbers, (but sadly very little else!), I pin balled from one job to another for about twenty years. Until I wound up writing adverts for a company manufacturing British classic car parts. Where it didn't go unnoticed that I sometimes struggle to take things seriously. Often having copy rejected for containing thinly veiled jokes about the very serious items I was trying to sell to pipe smoking middle-aged men wearing ancient Simon shirts, nylon socks and open-toe sandals. Then, at the age of 50, my wife sent me on a Creative Writing Course at the Midland Arts Centre. Where I found that most people who write are pretty serious about their hobby. So I fitted right in... NOT! Anyway, twelve weeks later, I'd written the pilot episode of a comedy-drama called Tatlock's Marina. The tale of a working-class family who faced with a failing business, a zero-hours contract and losing their home, escapes to the Norfolk Broads to run a boat hire business. Regrettably, I found TV writing is a bit tricky to break into. So when Martin Clunes showed no interest at all in the project and just kept the chocolate I sent with the script, I thought I'd take a crack at writing books instead. So that's it, really! These days, I run a little business printing stickers for a living and try to write books in my spare time. Doubt I will ever make a fortune from either. But if my blokey jokey brand of humour lightens someone's day and makes enough for a couple of takeaways, I'll settle for that and keep playing the lottery.


In 1968 I was born in one of the small grimy towns where Birmingham collides with the Black Country making me a Yam Yam. After achieving very little at school, I left at sixteen to begin a Youth Training Scheme selling British Leyland car spares. Discovering I had a gift for remembering part numbers, (but sadly very little else!), I pin balled from one job to another for about twenty years. Until I wound up writing adverts for a company manufacturing British classic car parts. Where it didn't go unnoticed that I sometimes struggle to take things seriously. Often having copy rejected for containing thinly veiled jokes about the very serious items I was trying to sell to pipe smoking middle-aged men wearing ancient Simon shirts, nylon socks and open-toe sandals. Then, at the age of 50, my wife sent me on a Creative Writing Course at the Midland Arts Centre. Where I found that most people who write are pretty serious about their hobby. So I fitted right in... NOT! Anyway, twelve weeks later, I'd written the pilot episode of a comedy-drama called Tatlock's Marina. The tale of a working-class family who faced with a failing business, a zero-hours contract and losing their home, escapes to the Norfolk Broads to run a boat hire business. Regrettably, I found TV writing is a bit tricky to break into. So when Martin Clunes showed no interest at all in the project and just kept the chocolate I sent with the script, I thought I'd take a crack at writing books instead. So that's it, really! These days, I run a little business printing stickers for a living and try to write books in my spare time. Doubt I will ever make a fortune from either. But if my blokey jokey brand of humour lightens someone's day and makes enough for a couple of takeaways, I'll settle for that and keep playing the lottery.


My Review:

I should have heeded the warning on the cover that this was a 'hilarious laugh out loud page turner' and then perhaps I wouldn't have been reading 'Negative Feedback' and made a complete spectacle of myself whilst I was sitting in the sun, directly in front of the car-wash team that were cleaning my car, who became quite edgy in the presence of my poorly suppressed sniggering, that could not stifle the occasional guffaw. This screwball journey is the story of Jasper, the little man trying to earn a few extra pennies on eBay selling unwanted cassette tapes to a limited market of people yearning for the days when they could listen to their music to a background of noise pollution, distortion and the quiet whirr of the capstan motor as it struggled to keep the magnetic tape from jamming in the various spindles and record and play heads. He was never going to make more than a bob or two to supplement his meagre state benefit money, so when a troll decides it would be better to post some negative feedback on Jasper's eBay account, rather than contact him directly and demand an exchange or refund. Jasper rallies support from his East German, ageing punk, retired urban guerrilla Bernd Tost, and his heavyweight pugilist girlfriend Annie with a heavy weight diet to match. Together they form the 'Negative Feedback Retribution Squad,' a force to be reckoned with that has no boundaries that it will not cross. The humour in this book is constant throughout the narrative and dialogue with the most outrageous characters. The plot is brilliantly absurd. Chapter Twelve is a masterpiece set in a QVC studio, and the climatic ending featuring German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a stroke of comedy genius. I have now purchased the author's two other publications, 'The Cheesy Dips' and the recently published 'The Sardinian Job.'



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