Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Feature & Excerpt for Hobson’s Choice by Clive West

Hobson’s Choice & 15 other twist-in-the-tail short stories

This is a collection of stories whose endings you can try to predict, but you will almost always get it wrong. From the lottery-winner who inspires enmity in his neighbour, to the fraudulent fortune-teller discovering that she has a psychic gift after all, to the down-trodden schoolboy whose 'daydreams' reveal a crime which he then uses all his ingenuity to expose, a huge range of characters walk through these pages.
Some of them are innocent; others, like the greedy property-developer, border on evil; but most of them are human with all the foibles and self-interest inherent in that condition. To read these stories is to share in the author's jaundiced view of the world - a world nonetheless illuminated by flashes of humour, pathos and warmth. You will be hugging yourself with glee at the 'comeuppance' doled out to some characters, and wishing you could dive into the story to give a timely warning to others. You will certainly be turning the pages rapidly to see what happens …

Genre: Short stories anthologies
Kindle Edition Amazon US | Amazon UK


The removal van had had to park across a shared drive to unload the relatively few personal possessions that he had allowed himself to bring. Less than five minutes after it had parked, Jason was met by a young man who somewhat stiffly introduced himself as his new neighbor before asking how long the drive would be blocked for. Jason immediately took the opportunity to tell him where to go and what to do when he got there – just in case the man was in any doubt. Jason’s strong words and his large physical presence had not been what his neighbor had been expecting and he had beaten a hasty retreat indoors, muttering about ‘consideration’.
Since then, Jason had planted Leylandii to block the sunlight from his neighbor's house, had held loud parties that were not quite raucous enough to get him an ASBO, and left his wheelie bin open as near to his neighbour’s kitchen window as possible so that they were plagued with flies. Also, and knowing how his neighbour felt about blocking the drive, Jason had abandoned his Mercedes diagonally across it at every opportunity.
Not that the neighbours on the other side were exempt, either. Jason had hacked back their mature fruit tree where it ventured over the property line into his garden, making sure to coat the cut ends generously with herbicide, set up halogen security lights that shone directly into their bedroom window, lit bonfires whenever the wind was blowing in their direction, and so on.
The odd solicitor’s letter arrived asking him to desist but, as Jason well knew, he was doing nothing illegal and he carried on heedless of their thinly veiled threats. This continued for some months until eventually, the mainly elderly people and young families living in the little group of houses, formed a residents group to discuss Jason and what to do about him. They had also elected a representative, one of whose functions was to explain the group’s grievances to the perpetrator in person.

About the Author 

Clive West was born in the West Country of England in the early 60's. He was educated at a traditional English public school before going on to university to study civil engineering. Over the years, he has worked as a civil engineer, tutor of maths and science, schools quiz-master, employment agency boss, and writer.

His work includes a collection of short stories with twists called Hobson's Choice (also available in print), a full-length novel called 'The Road' about the consequences of corruption on ordinary people and an accessible job hunting interview guide (based on his years of experience as the boss of an employment agency).

He has also written a book about lymphedema. This is a disfiguring, life-threatening and incurable disease he now suffers from and which his experience shows that most fellow patients have (like him) been abandoned by their respective health services.

Clive now lives in a rebuilt farmhouse in the Umbrian region of Italy along with Damaris, his writer wife of 22 years and their three rescue dogs. Apart from his fictional work, Clive also writes commercial non-fiction on a variety of topics but especially relating to business and employment. He and Damaris run an indie publishers called Any Subject Books Ltd –

You can also follow Any Subject Books on Facebook –

Clive is now disabled but, aside from his writing, he also enjoys playing the keyboard, listening to music and reading.

Contact details:

Facebook site: 


Rebecca Graf said...

Hope the tour is going great.

Burt Morgret said...

Thank you for hosting today:)

Lisa said...

I like the idea of short stories with a twist in their tale. I'm always looking for good short story books. I enjoyed your post and love your blog. Thanks.


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