Ah, the wonder of a Goodreads win. I was super excited to receive Lawrence Osborne’s, The Ballad of a Small Player. It’s a story of an older gentlemen who stole money from an old woman that trusted him and how ironically, he happened to lose every penny whilst being lonely and drunk for most of the book. Fortunately, Osborne is a very clever writer but unfortunately, he overused his cleverness. It was like reading a clever line every other sentence when in your mind you scream “Get on with it already!” I felt the book lacked a serious plot and the main character Lord Doyle was not interesting enough to carry the book. We had no real backstory to connect us to him. The entire novel consisted of places to eat, liquor to drink and the highs and lies of gambling…all of which can be accomplished by asking a drunk uncle, not reading 255+ pages to walk away with that bit of information. I can’t say I walked away with any emotion after spending a week reading what normally would take a day. I can only hope for better from Osborne in the future.