Going Under is a hilarious but poignant novel that touches on the universal issues of love, friendship, family and community in new and clever ways. It relates the story of one man's struggle against the 'man', about his unswerving determination to stand up and be counted in the face of increasing globalisation and multi-million pound business.
Aidan Walsh lives in the small town of Crindau in south Wales and feels that since his wife died he has been slowly slipping away and 'closing himself down' to his surroundings. That is until he stands to lose his job at Sunny Jim Electronics; the company intends to relocate the factory to India thus removing the last stable employer of the town. Aidan vows to do everything he can to save his job and the spirit of the community. He hatches an unusual and dangerous plan in order to persuade his employers to listen to him: he buries himself alive in a cardboard coffin in his back garden and vows to not return until Sunny Jim promises to keep the factory open. With the help of his family and friends, a powerful and impressive publicity campaign is launched to get Aidan noticed, first by local Crindau FM then nationally. During his time underground people come to think of Aidan as a confidant, he discovers that deep inside the community of Crindau people are suffering, afraid for their families. They come to rely on Aidan as the unlikely hero to lead the fight for what they believe in.
In Going Under French portrays the resistance a community can share when faced with hardship, with sincerity and acute observation of the human spirit. Aidan is an extremely likeable character who discovers, whilst underground, the value of appreciating friends and family. He teaches us how human resourcefulness and determination can still go far, inspiring the reader out of apathy and into action. French is a gifted writer who obviously has a deep admiration for his native south Wales as it becomes the setting for an ordinary man's battle and ultimate triumph.