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The Crack Magazine

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You've Got The Gig by Ryan Murphy

I have to admit, when this book – a self-published piece of non-fiction detailing someone’s experiences working as a cycle courier for Deliveroo – landed on my desk, my heart sank. What next, I thought? My Life As A Baggage Handler at Tees-Valley Airport? Carpet Fitting in Kidderminster: The Untold Story? But, truth be told, my fears were largely assuaged – with some caveats. The first thing to be said is that the book’s author, Ryan Murphy, can actually write. His sentences make sense; he puts them together in a way that makes clear what he is trying to say; and his grammar his good. He is also an engaging narrator. The books begins in San Francisco with Murphy on his bike – this time for fun not profit. It’s when he returns to north-east, and begins a university course, that he first signs up with Deliveroo. His reasoning seems sound in that he loves bike riding (which keeps him fit) and he can work the hours he chooses. What the books isn’t is a searing indictment of the gig economy. Murphy briefly touches on the non-unionisation of the sector, but he’s largely positive about his experiences. He also gives the reader plenty of facts, some interesting (students spend £925 per year on takeaways) to some that could be filed under To Much Information (Tyson Fury’s masturbatory habits before a big fight). When all is said and done, however, the book adds up to nearly 300 pages, and I think even the great Hunter S. Thompson would struggle to hold your interest for every one of those pages in an account that is basically about delivering burgers. RM

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