Useful by @DebraOswald1 #review

Debra Oswald



Title : Useful
Author: Debra Oswald
PublishedPenguin, January 28th 2015
Pages:: 320
Format:: Paperback print


Sullivan Moss is useless.

Once a charming underachiever, he’s now such a loser that he can’t even commit suicide properly. Waking up in hospital after falling the wrong way on a rooftop, he comes to a decision. He shouldn’t waste perfectly good organs just because they’re attached to his head. After a life of regrets, Sully wants to do one useful thing: he wants to donate a kidney to a stranger.

As he scrambles over the hurdles to become a donor, Sully almost accidentally forges a new life for himself. Sober and employed, he makes new friends, not least radio producer Natalie and her son Louis, and begins to patch things up with old ones, like his ex-best mate Tim. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of him.

But altruism is not as easy as it seems. Just when he thinks he’s got himself together, Sully discovers that he’s most at risk of falling apart.

From the creator of Offspring comes a smart, moving and wry portrait of one man’s desire to give something of himself.

This was a great light funny read while also being quite thoughtful and reflective. Sully a character one could easily find less than appealing is instead a character one sympathises with and the reader feels for hoping he gets his life back on track after many years of being the black sheep of the crowd. Sully fails even at killing himself so to redeem himself he decides he’ll donate a kidney. Quite the leap and in the process of taking care of that kidney and trying to convince the hospital his intentions are true and good he has the chance for many a redemption. I liked this novel and found the characters flawed and yet so very real and average in many ways. People you’d actually come into contact with on a daily basis and incorporating that into a funny endearing redemptive story I found myself liking and enjoying the journey not just of Sully but his friends or ex-friends and those around him. Debra has done a great job and I look forward to future work from her hopefully equally as funny and likeable.


This book qualifies for both the Australian Woman Writers Challenge as well as the Aussie Author Challenge

  1. I love the quirky cover. Poor Sully. I’m curious to find out if life gets better for him. 🙂
    sherry fundin recently posted..Pirates & Treasures ~ A Pirate Looks at Forty by Chip Bell ~ Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  2. This is a perfect example why I enjoy participating in challenges like this – finding a book that I’ve never heard of and wanting to read it immediately! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand recently posted..Aussie Author Challenge – Book 3My Profile

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