One wintry afternoon a lodger named Wilson arrives at 38, Trebisall Avenue, filled with hope. As he crosses the threshold of Mrs Pollard's house, with its "aura of impending stew" he becomes a new man. This is a tactic he has tried before, just as he has tried many jobs before, from cook to seismographer's assistant. But alas, each time he was sacked because it was not his vocation. And so he has moved on, from town to town, from landlady to landlady: from Mrs McManus of Barnstaple, to Mrs McManus of Newport (I.O.W). Now, under the motherly eye of Mrs Pollard, he attempts a number of new vocations including those of poet and postman. Strange things befall him in the process: he is even tried and convicted for scandalous offences of which he has no recollection. But his progress continues, out through the end of this book, in search of a panacea for all mankind.
Praise for David Nobbs's novels:
'Painfully hilarious, wonderfully observed and slight sour at the same time' Guardian
'Thank goodness for David Nobbs! He carries on the comic tradition of P G Wodehouse with this marvellous new book; a sweet and touching love story written with his trademark sly and subversive humour. A perfect antidote to these dark times' Joanne Harris
'Probably our finest post-war comic novelist' Jonathan Coe
'A delicious entertainment, as comic and sharp as they come' Guardian
'A marvellously comic novel' Sunday Times
'One of the most noisily funny books I have ever read' Michael Palin
'Very funny sketches of provincial newspaper life' Sue Townsend
'The most satisfying novel I have read in years' Express
David Nobbs's first break as a comedy writer came on the iconic satire show That Was The Week, That Was, hosted by David Frost. Later he wrote for The Frost Report and The Two Ronnies and provided material for many top comedians including Les Dawson, Ken Dodd, Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howerd and Dick Emery. Apart from his twenty novels, David is best known for his two TV hit series A Bit of a Do and for The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. David Nobbs died in 2015 at the age of eighty.