Review of ‘Buyer Beware! by Julie Bunting’, by Paul Nicholls

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 23rd September 2002, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

BUYER BEWARE!
by Paul Nicholls

Little wonder this author is hiding under a nom de plume, though he is apparently bare-faced enough to allow his real name to crop up here and there in this book, which he describes as 'Confessions of a real-life Arthur Daley'. The publishers, Country Books, refer to it as an exposé of the second-hand car trade by a retired motor trader, adding that many local people should be able to work out the true names of characters in Buyer Beware! The author's former customers - cheerfully referred to as victims, adversaries, pond life and far worse - have had their names changed too, all cheerfully grouped together as 'sheep' and well and truly fleeced by 'Mr Nicholls'.

His speciality was selling 'bangers' and his means of getting a vehicle through an MOT are a revelation, not to mention his respraying methods. Then there are the ploys for gaining a punter's confidence, and a sense of humour which invented adverts such as 'VW Scirocco in red. Tested 10 months. Taxed, once owned by local folk hero Pyclet Pete, so you'll have no problem pulling crumpet in this one lads, come and butter me up with £695'.

The author's style of writing goes a long way to painting a self-portrait, though I think he would agree that he comes across more con-man than lovable rogue, reducing victims to stammering wrecks and giving officialdom the run-around.

Some years ago a popular radio show used to make jokey references to a 'shy and sensitive second-hand car salesman' and our author would have us believe that there are quite a few of these amongst the profession. Well he is not one of them and he knows it. He ends by assuring us that 'The public at large are now safe in the knowledge that I am now "retired". One can only hope the discerning reader learns a valuable lesson from this book'. And well they might.

Buyer Beware! by Paul Nicholls is available from local book shops, price £9.50. ISBN 1-898941-76-9

Review by Julie Bunting


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