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The Empathy Problem by Gavin Extence

The Empathy Problem

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One of our Books of the Year 2016.

September 2016 eBook of the Month.

A must read if ever there was one, this is just stunning. A simple premise, yet it slams with impact, 32 year old banker Gabriel has a malignant brain tumour and six months left to live. As time ticks by Gabriel finds himself exploring entirely new thoughts and feelings… empathy has finally arrived in his life. A perfectly sharp balance is maintained between hard hitting provocative and wickedly amusing observations. Pointedly sliding through global problems and issues, this is a still a very personal, compassionate and intimate read. Gavin Extence is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, he constantly surprises, challenges and stimulates with his barbed, so beautifully readable books. I sat up reading for most of the night, and even when I had turned the last page, I didn't want to put it down. ‘The Empathy Problem’ is a very special novel indeed, one to remember, to keep forever, to read again, and again, and again. ~ Liz Robinson

If you like Gavin Extence you might also like to read books by Jojo Moyes, Eowyn Ivey and Tom Rob Smith.


The Empathy Problem by Gavin Extence

Driven by money, power and success, Gabriel has worked ruthlessly to get to the very top of the banking game. He's not going to let the inconvenience of a terminal brain tumour get in his way. But the tumour has other ideas. As it grows, it appears to be doing strange things to Gabriel's personality. Whether he likes it or not, he seems to be becoming less selfish, less mercenary, less unlikeable. Once he could dismiss the rest of humanity as irrelevant. Now he's not so sure. Women, in particular, are becoming worryingly three-dimensional. And none more so than Caitlin, the 'unremarkable' girl he sees busking on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral. When she plays her violin, Gabriel could almost believe that he has a soul...But as each day that passes brings him closer to his last, has time run out for second chances? Bestselling author Gavin Extence pushes the envelope again with another thought-provoking and funny novel about the surprises, good and bad, that life can throw at us.


Praise for Gavin Extence's previous novels:

'[Extence] captures how the illness feels from the inside with sensitivity and sparkling humour. In Abby he has created a warm, funny and relatable heroine' Daily Express

'Insightful and sensitive, Extence describes with the lightest of touches what it's like to live with bipolar' Sunday Express

'Extence really brings Abby to life in this honest, uequivocal narrative...There is something curiously cathartic about this book, as well as having the bravery, touching honesty and memorable protagonist that Extence is making his trademark' Heat

'Warm and funny and tragic and uplifting all in one. Extence should be on everyone's radar' -- Jasper Fforde

'This is a genuinely hilarious read, but also a deeply moving story about childhood, neurology and mortality' Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence was born in 1982 and grew up in the interestingly named village of Swineshead, Lincolnshire. From the ages of 5-11, he enjoyed a brief but illustrious career as a chess player, winning numerous national championships and travelling to Moscow and St Petersburg to pit his wits against the finest young minds in Russia. He won only one game.

Author photo © Alix Extence

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Book Info

Publication date

11th August 2016


Gavin Extence

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Hodder & Stoughton Ltd an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division


416 pages


Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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