From the author:
tireless: celebrates the creative urge while satirizing the people who create. I wanted to write a book that would keep attention on any page you turned to, so the person who looked over your shoulder on the train to see what you were reading would only look away when their station had come.
Harassed? Unloved? Just watching life go by?
Take this hilarious ride through the narrator’s painful world and find others who are even worse off than you.
His outrageous characters will work their way into your life as they do with everybody else.
In this satire on human behaviour, they’re not fair, not fair at all.
The narrator, an unemployed teacher and aspiring writer, lives in London. When Jim and Olga move in next door, his imagination is fired by the unhappy wife’s nude sunbathing and the pompous husband’s breathtaking tall stories. He recalls his comic victories in the classroom, while fantasizing that Britain’s south-east has broken off from the mainland. He remembers his own schooldays and considers the impact of young Miss Bugler. These anecdotes, like Jim’s stories, highlight the casual cruelties and misunderstandings in human behaviour and the evasive nature of fulfilment. A turning point is Jim’s recollection of a night in India when he hallucinated, suffering the taunts of the giant Rat and his close friend, Roquefort, a miniature cat. Humiliated by publishers’ rejections, by the rudeness of Jim’s daughter, Daisy, and even by his barber, the narrator transfers his sense of failure to Rat, who enters the narrative in a series of disturbing, yet uproarious adventures which merge illusion with the real world. The narrator removes the barber’s head, takes revenge on Daisy when she develops an infatuation for him, and finally publishes something, in contrast to a now unlucky Rat, who is arrested, almost has a nervous breakdown, is refused restaurant service, and disappoints as an undergraduate at Oxford, where the noisy love-making of Bill and Penny emphasises his loneliness.