Review: Mister Friday by Graham Bradley

This is not a timely review, I am afraid; the Thanksgiving weekend took a lot out of me. If it had not, I might have been able to write something about this novella earlier. Better late than never, but I do wish I had been able to do this sooner.

Here is the blurb for this intriguing tale, readers:

Mister Friday by [Graham Bradley]

In a near future, Black Friday is enshrined as an official economic holiday. The violence and competition that have come to characterize the start of the Christmas shopping season are now encouraged and regulated by the US Government. Jonathan Rigel Jr. quickly climbed the charts and became the greatest Friday Fighter of all time. When he finally decides that he’s out for good, he learns the hard way that you can’t just turn down a good deal…

Mister Friday* is only available in ebook, but it is a good and quick read. I finished it in an afternoon. There are three chapters, each a short story that has been neatly tied in with the others to form this book. The pace is quick, intense, and heartily enjoyable.

I feel compelled to add that if you are at all concerned that the story will be a plodding tale of dystopian drudgery and despair, you need not fear. Mister Friday reads like a 1980s thriller that has been mixed with modern cyberpunk, before getting put in Pandora’s blender with the stir setting on “high.” When you reach the finale of this story, you do not find yourself grasping black despair – you are holding hope.

That is something we sorely need today, readers. Mister Friday is one good place to find it.

Naturally, the story begins early on Black Friday morning. Jonathan Rigel Jr., who has been a Friday Fighter for some years now to pay his uncle’s medical bills, is here to collect a bounty. He has been doing this for years to help pay for his uncle’s treatments, and this Black Friday’s prizes should put him in the black at last. In this world, Friday Fighters are people who accept bounties on expensive items which are set to go on sale annually.

The way it works is that the companies will advertise well ahead of time which specific items will be available in hot sales for Black Friday. Rich patrons put out bounties for a certain number of each item, and on Black Friday, “Friday Fighters” arrive along with the rest of the crowd to collect the bounties. It is first come, first serve – and if someone gets in the Fighter’s way, then said Fighter can challenge his opponent to an actual duel to the death.

Like all “Friday Fighters,” Jonathan has a nom de guerre under which he operates on Black Friday: that name is Mister Friday. He is one of the better Friday Fighters and has been at the job for several years now. While he has a healthy distaste for it, the fact is that he needs the money too much to quit.

Once the doors open, Jonathan is inside the door faster than the rest of the mob due to his greater experience and his expensive gear. He non-lethally puts other frantic shoppers out of commission and gets several of the high dollar items on his shopping list, but one is in a case with a digital lock. Jonathan is good, but not that good: without the code, he cannot get in.

So he calls his employer – a man whose name we do not know – who explains that another Friday Fighter at the store has the code for the digital lock on the inside of his belt. To get that code, Jonathan will have to fight him. After all, it’s not just the bounties and the sales that make Black Friday so lucrative – it’s the show. Every Black Friday early-morning charge and duel is livestreamed from stores across the country, so everyone can watch the mad scramble for the latest gadget.

On this Black Friday, Jonathan is the leading man in this little drama of “panem et circenses.” His opponent is the almost-equally popular Jester, a man with whom Jonathan has a score to settle. Jester doesn’t really care about that at the start and, by the end of the duel, he is long past any concern at all.

This fight to the death convinces Jonathan to hang up his gear for good. He tells his employer point-blank that he isn’t coming back. But when there is as much money at stake as there is on Black Friday, some people are not willing to take “no” for an answer….

Mister Friday is a good, quick read with a lot of meat on the bone. Neither preachy nor dour, it is a heart-pounding action-adventure story sure to get your blood pumping, making you eager to turn the page. This is one novella you will wish had a sequel, readers. I know I closed it wondering if there would be follow up stories!

Don’t wait – get your copy of Mister Friday today!

*These are Amazon affiliate links. When you purchase something through them, this author receives a commission from Amazon at no extra charge to you, the buyer.

If you liked this article, friend Caroline Furlong on Facebook or follow her here at Her stories have been published in Cirsova’s Summer Special and Unbound III: Goodbye, Earth. She has also had stories published in the Planetary Anthology Series. Another story was released in Cirsova Magazine’s Summer Issue in 2020, and she had a story published in Storyhack Magazine’s 7th Issue, Cirsova Magazine’s 2021 Summer Issue, and another may be read over at Ember Journal. Her first anthology – The Guardian Cycle – is available in paperback and ebook as well. Order them today!

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7 thoughts on “Review: Mister Friday by Graham Bradley

  1. Certainly a very unique premise, as Riders noted…will definitely give this one a look! Thanks!

    Speaking of unique premises…that applies also to the first story in your Guardian Cycle Vol. 1, which I greatly enjoyed. Still wading through the Potter novels, though, so it’s the only one I’ve read so far.

    Liked by 1 person

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