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Thomas Jones’s debut novel reminds us life is little more than game

Game Theory is a neatly-crafted 21st-century take on a genre of literary fiction—the light-hearted, plot-driven romp—that has drifted out of fashion

Game Theory by Thomas Jones (JM Originals, £12.99)

Thomas Jones’s debut novel tells the story of a middle-class couple, Alex and Clare, resetting their lives after their 10-year relationship hits the rocks. Clare treats herself to a South American sojourn, where she tells a fellow backpacker that she is “trying to escape the cliché of trying to escape the cliché of a stifling bourgeois existence.” Alex wallows in a “persistent state of flattened affect” and whiles away his evenings playing online backgammon. Alex and Clare’s social milieu is a tableau of genteel Englishness: they enjoy cricket and cucumber sandwiches, country…

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