Servo - David Goodwin - Keeping Up With The Penguins
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You ever hear the conceit of a new book and think, “I can’t believe no one’s written that yet”? That’s what happened for me with Servo (subtitle: “Tales From The Graveyard Shift”), a memoir by David Goodwin. The team at Hachette Australia were kind enough to send me a copy for review.

Goodwin offers the reader “a six-year voyage of sex, drugs, and sausage rolls”. He recounts his time working the graveyard shift at a suburban Melbourne service station: the good, the bad, and the very, very weird.

So, of course, Servo offers many, many literal lols. All the crazies come out at night, and some of the ones Goodwin encounters had me wheezing. He seems to attract lunatics in his personal life as well as at work, so his friends (like the Hungarian champion shitter Stevo) are good for plenty of laughs, too.

Goodwin’s wide eyed optimism about his line of work is knocked out of him quick-smart, and his enthusiasm for the job waxes and wanes. By the end of Servo, he gets pretty bitter (though I guess that’s understandable) and also a little woo-y with spiritual journeys and meditation and what not (which, to me, is less forgivable).

What I appreciated most about Servo was the new perspective Goodwin offers on the humble service station, a utilitarian venue frequented by people from all walks of life at some point or another. You’ll come to this book for the freaks and the weirdos, but you’ll stay for the window into the world at night and the stories of the comrades who staff it.

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