Do you value your mother’s health above peace in the Middle East? How about your career over global warming?
If a company runs the best graduate scheme in the world, then it can afford to be probing with its interview questions.
When Joe Massey is offered a role aboard Schelldhardt’s luxurious headquarters at sea, he discovers that the company mission is beyond anything he had ever imagined. Strange dreams disturb his sleep, and it soon becomes clear that nothing is quite as it seems.
Is he really the right man for the job? And if not, then why is he there at all?
Arnold Shendi: Appendix A
She could not be controlled or organised like the rest of his world, and that’s why Shendi loved her more than any of it. He first met Elena in March, during his third year of university. He had started Sussex later than most of his peers, already twenty-three when he studied for his finals. Those years of extra maturity empowered him to approach her at a record fair that he was visiting with his friends. She was older than him, nearly thirty, and he believed that he could pass for similar. He had never looked young, wearing glasses from the age of five, and his hair was thinning prematurely. He also had a stocky physique that was obviously doomed to expansion in later life. As unglamorous as he was, he realised that this was his prime, and the knowledge encouraged him to be bold. Elena later said that it was this confidence that attracted her. Perhaps it was the only compliment she could really pay him, but he accepted it all the same.
He saw her flicking through the imported Japanese vinyl section at the fair, browsing the sleeves of artists that he had never heard of. It was the artwork that was important to her. She literally judged a record by its cover, drawing a linkage between the imagery and the music. She said that she would try anything. By speaking to him that day, she only reinforced the point.
Elena was of Spanish descent, with beautiful golden skin and green eyes. There could rarely have been a more mismatched couple strolling the streets of Brighton, and he could not believe his luck. The differences didn’t end with their appearances; while he studied business, she read poetry. He planned and organised, while she dreamed and fantasised; but somehow it worked between them. When he was with her, he wondered why he had ever worried about anything in his life, and their chemistry was electric. He hadn’t understood kissing until they met — never quite sure what his tongue was doing in another’s mouth. When he kissed Elena, the world stopped around him, and they even kissed in public. How his parents would have disapproved! Ignore them, Arnold, his father would say, glancing over his newspaper when they ate lunch in the park. Young people in love were something to be mistrusted; but now he was one of them. They had morning sex, lunchtime sex, evening sex, outdoor sex and even sex with another couple. She encouraged him to do things he would never have dared to do before.
Thank you, Steve Frogley and Love Books Group
About the author
Steve is a writer of contemporary fiction, who enjoys reading books of many different genres.
Originally from Southend in Essex, Steve now lives on the South Coast of England with his family, after a few happy years spent in New Zealand. The Path of Good Response is his first novel. He has spent most of his working life in the IT industry, but writing is his real passion.
The workplace has changed a great deal during Steve’s career. He started writing The Path of Good Response back in 2016, and the fictional company in the novel, Schelldhardt, seems less of an exaggeration by the year. It appears that reality is fast catching up with dystopian writing, and in many ways overtaking it.
He hopes that you enjoy reading his book, and welcomes any feedback.