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Bibliophile price: £2.25
For McGowan, life is all about holed socks, unsatisfactory packed lunches, broken washing machines, Kierkegaard, the eccentricities of the British Library, liver salts, Morrissey and disapproving ladies on trains. Relentlessly honest, exquisitely funny, his book is a paean to the glory and desperation of everyday existence. Here is a man at odds with the universe, stumbling from one improbable fiasco to the next as he patrols the mean streets of West Hampstead like some unholy cross between Columbo, J. Alfred Prufrock and a common tramp, pondering the very stuff of life itself. Here are endless tiny humiliations as he struggles to resurrect the corpse of his literary career and finds himself ensnared in a loving yet perplexing marriage. 278pp in diary form, paperback.

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