More Trees to Climb, By Ben Moor

"Life is a lottery, old chum," muses Stewart Lee in his affectionate introduction to this entertaining book by the writer-performer Ben Moor, lamenting his undeserved obscurity. This theme of the capriciousness of life is well-mined in Moor's quirky little book. Originally written for performance on stage, it is pervaded with the peculiar energy of the spoken word, an idiosyncratic and vivid prose style punctuated with punning to rival Kathy Lette, and has a cumulative power.

Tree-climbing, writer's block and particle physics are tackled in the playful stories "Coelacanth", "Not Everything is Significant" and "A Supercollider for the Family". The protagonist of the first story is a chap who gives 10 per cent in life, but ends up giving his own eye to his beloved after she loses hers in an unfortunate tree-climbing accident.

In their small space, these stories reflect on larger truths, reading like comic morality tales about the frustrations of love and work; that what goes around doesn't always come around; how failures might be turned into success; and about keeping our footing while those around us fall.

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