A funny, moving and insightful novel about dysfunctional families and our disaffected hero’s attempts to cope with the possibility of paternity.
Clyde Carmichael is an underachieving teacher at a posh adult education centre. Obsessed by his ex, Gordon, and devouring biographies, in search of a design for living, Clyde spends much of his time avoiding his family. He is close to becoming as idle as his room mate, Marcus, who is in his tenth year completing his dissertation and on his umpteenth doomed relationship.
This aimlessness is disturbed by the arrival of Louise Morris with a son, Ben, and a neurotic dog. Louise is a peripatetic writer, Clyde’s old friend and Marcus’s onetime lover. The question of Ben’s paternity turns up the heat and heralds an anxious, affectionate and humorous insight into the ties that bind – and sometimes strangle – families and friends.