A Pleasure and a Calling: A Novel

A Pleasure and a Calling: A Novel

by Phil Hogan

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250081520
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 508,311
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

PHIL HOGAN was born in a small town in northern England, and now lives in a small town in southern England. A journalist for twenty-five years, he has written for The Observer and The Guardian. He is married with four children.

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A Pleasure and a Calling 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Atthebeach More than 1 year ago
A really, really good and creepy thriller. When I read in a review that I would want to change all the locks on my house after reading this book, I was in. This is not grand literature, but for a vacation read or quick, absorbing read, this is a winner. The main character is so creepy and devious and slick. Can this guy get away with anything? At times, this story really makes your skin crawl. But you won't be able to put it down. And the ending! I could not have imagined. No, I'm not changing my locks. But I am recommending this book highly.
Lark11 More than 1 year ago
This book has a great hook. Just reading the premise is enough to draw you in and the book's cover art perfectly reflects the story inside, which is just one example of how all the elements of this book work together perfectly to create the mood and tone. Hogan has created a memorable character, Mr. Heming, and dropped him into the perfect setting for this story. Heming serves as the narrator and takes us along with him on his journey, which is unsettling because Heming rationalizes his actions and charms us until we can understand, or maybe even sympathize with, the reasons behind his actions. Heming's ability to make us relate to him only heightens the creepiness of an inherently creepy plot. As a narrator, Heming is occasionally on the unreliable side, as the flashbacks tend to hint at past events, implying a certain misdeed by Heming, but leaving the reader to decide for yourself what actually happened. I did have a slight issue with the flashbacks, as at times it wasn't clear that we were heading back in time for a page or so. That's not a significant problem, but, for me, anything that takes you out of the flow of the story is a drawback. A minor issue, but having a break in concentration when you come to the realization that this is a flashback is less than ideal, especially when it would seem rather easy to properly "signpost" the flashback passages (different font, etc). Hogan is a strong and skilled writer, crafting memorable characters, an engrossing plot, and striking the perfect tone for this story. He's also gifted at turns-of-phrase, giving his writing a very enjoyable style. All of the elements for a gripping and triumphant book are present, but I can't help but feel that the ending fails to capitalize on the tremendous set-up that precedes it. The narrative is tight in the setup, but unfortunately seems to get looser as the story advances towards its conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but at the end I was left feeling like the book didn't quite pack the emotional wallop that the setup so richly deserved. I wanted the wallop! Still, a skilled book and definitely recommended for the writing style, unforgettable character, and a perfectly rendered tone/mood.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this as much as Flynn's 'Gone Girl'. Story was rolled out nicely. Equally well worded and unlike Flynn..remained consistent through to the end of the book. Confused as to why his name isn't being thrown around with equal fervor. I will be looking into more by Hogan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best kind of oo-thaat's-creepy story is the one that leaves you aware of how much of everyday safety depends on assumptions...on expectations....on people behaving as we think they do -- rather than as they may well be doing. The just-out-of-sight possibilities that lurk in every person we meet. Very creepy -- because it's utterly plausible.
readers_retreat More than 1 year ago
Wow! I hardly ever use that word in my reviews but here I feel it is warranted. I am starting to think that the creepier and more horrific the book, the higher my praise usually is for it! These sort of books could be described as walking the tightrope between thriller and horror extremely well. I have never enjoyed horror movies and had assumed that it also applied to those type of books too but I don't think that is the case at all - I have started to read and really get into the horror genre of late. This is a book with a unique story featuring a truly sinister baddie! The creepy factor was present throughout, making this a tense rollercoaster ride with added unpredictability. Hogan's characterisation is incredible, he builds William Heming so that it's impossible not to feel something for him. This is a highly original concept and one that works well. It was previously under the title A Pleasure and a Calling, which may be more fitting than The Intruder. The Intruder makes you think that there are people within the particular building, and for the most part there is not. This is a helluva amazing read, and Hogan must write further books in this genre, he is just that good at drawing you into the story. Finding an author that truly engages you is a difficult task these days but Hogan does it with ease. As if that wasn't enough, he also excels at injecting black humour into the novel. A magnificent title that is endlessly entertaining, and disturbing in equal measure! I cannot wait for more from this author. I would like to thank P. S. Hogan, Random House UK - Transworld, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
katerpillars More than 1 year ago
Great idea for a story, but very very slow. I pressed on for 100 pages and lost interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I couldnt put it down. I think the scariest thing about it is that it is entirely believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An entertaining book, that's for sure. I was looking for a sort of suspense after reading Girl On the Train and found this. The main character is odd, as I had read in the reviews. The start of it is a bit slow, but it picks up and gets interesting. It's a really quick read! I would recommend it for someone looking to read something on the train ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But the story fell a little short of my expectations.