The Curious Rise of Alex Lazarus is a very witty story of Alex, father of two, and his desire to tap into his creativity and take the world by storm with his idea for a novel business! Alex has a pretty good life – he has a young family, a decent job and a reasonably good relationship with his parents and sister (although they can snip at each other with ease)! He has always felt that he could do more and achieve more so when he meets Julian, another young father with similar ambitions, the two bounce off each other and develop an idea for a sure fire winner of a business – PrimaParent.com. As they thrash out this project and devote more and more time to it, the initial good feeling and energy slowly begins to turn a little sour and there are lots of red flags that wave merrily but are ignored or overlooked. In the prologue, Alex is about to be grilled by the House of Commons Communications Committee about the business, so we know from the off that something has gone badly wrong but it is highly entertaining reading about how that point is reached.
I think the story works so well because of the eclectic mix of characters within the business. Perhaps slightly stereotyped in places but they work very nicely together, on paper more so than in the business world, and provide opportunity for funny anecdotes and amusing mishaps. There are many nods to the less savoury parts of running a business – the unpaid but hard worked interns, the PR schmoozing and the focus on social media clicks. Although a lot of the story is around the work aspect, it definitely makes for entertaining reading! My opinions on certain characters changed back and forth as I read and there were times I wanted to yell – stop, think about this more carefully!
I think this is a well written story which will amuse whilst providing some slightly darker observations on the business world and pursuit of more and more when perhaps what you have is enough.
About Adam Leigh: Adam Leigh graduated with an English degree from Cambridge and joined Ogilvy & Mather, rising to become their youngest Board Director. During a successful thirty year advertising career, he ran a number of agencies, eventually becoming a partner in an independent agency which was sold in 2014. He now owns an Executive Search consultancy working with some of the world’s leading creative and media businesses.
The Curious Rise of Alex Lazarus is his first book. A partly autobiographical story based on his own start-up aspirations, author Leigh was initially inclined to write a non-fiction work on the nature of ambition before realising that his own resource of near disaster and parenting woes were too good to be ignored: this novel of accidental ambition, accidental luck and questionable morals was born.
He is well versed in the challenges of balancing an entrepreneurial business with family life. Available for comment and interview, he lives in North London with his wife and three children.