The Ten O'Clock Horses by Laurie Graham
It is 1962. The first avocado pears are appearing at the greengrocer's, people are thinking about carpeting their lavatories and boxing in their banisters, and Ronnie Glover, housepainter, is feeling the first vague stirrings of discontent with his life. These stirrings have something to do with Mary Tyler Moore's legs but something also to do with notions that he ought to be learning Italian, sipping red wine and doing proper drawing. Then suddenly the utterly fabulous and sophisticated Jacqueline is offering him everything he ever dreamt of and his life is changing as if by magic. Is it all too good to be true, or are ten o'clock horses of Ronnie's childhood awake and sniffing the wind? Beautifully observed, at once poignant and hilariously funny, Laurie Graham's portrait of suffering man at the dawn of the permissive era makes for a novel that is both unputdownable and unforgettable.