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Publisher's Summary

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?

Best-selling 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.

©2016 Gavin Extence (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

What members say

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  • Kaggy
  • 02-28-17

Wonderful beyond words

This may the story of an unpleasant man dying from a brain tumour, but please don’t be put off by the subject matter because this is enthralling. Gavin Extence uses a hedge fund manager as a modern day bogeyman and creates a redemption story that is as powerful as it is believable. The story covers big themes such as the nature of evil, the restorative power of love and whether people can really change their natures to become a better person. Along with this is a very satisfying story of revenge and reconciliation, all told with humour and style. I particularly enjoyed the backdrop of the London Occupy camp in Paternoster Square. I was working in London at the time and I can vouch for the absolute authenticity of the events described.
The narrator, Jack Hawkins is perfect for the material.
I read the Alex Woods book and thought this one was possibly even better. Gavin Extence is a brilliant and fresh voice in the literary world and I really look forward to reading more from him. My only regret is that I have now finished listening to this fantastic story and will find it very hard to follow this up with another book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-10-16

Absolutely Brilliant

15 out of 10 if I could. Equally as good as the author's 1st book. Interesting story lines merged into one. Poignant & again made me audibly laugh quite a bit, even though there was tragedy. I hope Extence is writing a 4th book by now. I will be buying all of this author's works as soon as they are released. For me I found His 1st book was exceedingly good; it was excellent. His 2nd book very good & for me this 3rd book was again excellent. Hope he uses the same narrator for his 4th. I love the narrator's delivery too.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon
  • 09-14-16

A brilliant author

The story is good, deep, meaningful and thought provoking. The setting is modern bringing to the fore events which happened during the financial crash whilst touching upon subjects which affect us all.
A book which leaves you thinking long after it's been read.
The narration is also excellent.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sigrin
  • 04-05-18

Much more than chic lit


I am surprised like another reviewer that this is classed as chic lit.

This book had a lot of soul and will be with me for a few days.

Jack Hawkins delivery was exemplary his voice and delivery were perfect.

Mr Extence writing of the glut and greed of capitalism from the people who work in that environment was spot on. He wove a great story on an emotional level of the evil, and subsequent comeuppance to do things right.

Well done think, I will have a look to see what else he has written.

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  • happy loon
  • 03-02-18

Quietly woven into a special tale

I listen to so many audio books and the are just ok. This is special. Well written, a good story, well told, unpretentious, and exceptionally well read by Jack Hawkins.
A real gem. Enjoy.

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  • Sue
  • 01-04-18

Really enjoyable listen

I really liked this book. It's well written and a gripping story. The narrator is excellent too. I listen to a lot of audio books and good ones aren't that easy to find. This I would recommend.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-19-17

Loved it

Beautifully written with very thought-provoking storyline about how illness changes your approach to life. Great narrator as well. Thoroughly recommend this

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  • Diane
  • 06-07-17

Totally brilliant

What did you like most about The Empathy Problem?

I loved the characters and the story. Gavin Extence is such a good writer.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gabriel - loved his transformation

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The ending is very beautiful, poignant and sad

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending

Any additional comments?

Loved The Universe according to Alex Woodsand have equally loved this one - fabulous book Gavin!

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  • HazelW
  • 05-20-17

Empathy galore

I loved it. Gabriel's character unfurls like a leaf, his incredible journey is described in a cool narrative style that contrasts starkly with the emotional heat. I literally couldn't put it down.

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  • Monica
  • 05-16-17

More than the synopsis suggests

My first book by this author and after reading the synopsis I thought this book might be a typical "bad guy falls in love and becomes good guy" story but the good reviews made me give it a shot. In some sense it is what I thought but it's so much more as well. It's not unbelievable and not chick lit romantic, which I was glad of. It's dark, meaningful and thought provoking but still funny, somehow lighthearted in a nonchalant kind of way and an easy read. The narrator was also very good and suited the main character. Glad I went ahead with the purchase.