Two friends grow up in a North London Jewish suburb. David is bright, parent-pleasing and obviously destined for great things. But somehow he ends up earning peanuts in a Suffolk bookshop while his devious and wayward friend Jack, becomes rich and famous as a TV chat-show host.
When Jack dies, his widow and publisher commission David to write his biography; after all, dependable David can be relied upon not to dish the dirt about the sex, the drugs and the women. David however soon realises that it's finally time he stopped doing what is expected of him. Instead he must write the true story of the forty year friendship that has dominated his life and then maybe he'll get Jack out of his system. But what David soon finds is that he can never be completely free of Jack...
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He is arguably the finest comic novelist working in Britain today. Indeed, he may just be finest comic anything working in Britain right now... Canter's prose is achingly funny...it is also vital, acute, literary and oddly moving. - Independent
Jon Canter is a north London Woody Allen. I haven't laughed so much in years - and then I realised that I had felt and thought hard too - Independent
A wise cracking monologue... laugh-a-line funny but in the tradition of jewish humour, [it] touches a serious issue - Financial Times
A very funny, intelligent novel about being a failure - Guardian
Well observed, warm humour... perfect parody - The Times
Funny, beautiful and strangely moving - stuffed full of belly laughs, but written from the heart -
Canter explores with gentle acuity the oppositions in long term friendship, and delves humorously into the relationship between writer and subject - Observer
The most impressive thing in this novel is the way it captures the nuances of the love hate relationship between two friends who have enjoyed contrasting fortunes...There will not be many more polished debuts in 2006. Canter has taken an old tale and retold it with admirable invention and freshness - Sunday Telegraph
Jon Canter is the author of two other novels, Worth and A Short Gentleman, which was adapted for BBC Radio 4. He has also written stand-up comedy, TV and radio scripts for many of Britain's most prominent comedians, and comment pieces for the Guardian.