“A funny and exceptionally well-wrought romance that starts in disaster, ends in tragedy, and never loses sight of the manic and surreal in life” (Kirkus Reviews).
Struggling writer Daniel Linnell is a charming, though hapless, young Londoner until he meets Laura, an unsettlingly feisty American who likes to go skydiving on weekends. In no time at all, Daniel finds himself falling for her. At the same time, he finds a new job as an obituarist, where his editor, Whittington, initiates him into the pecking order of journalists; the annual ritual of the drunken Obituaries Outing; and the secret cache of unexpurgated obits of the less-than-angelic, obits that will never see print—which Whittington keeps in a hollowed-out book in his office.
With his editor’s encouragement, Daniel begins to write a Who’s Who in Hell—a mammoth compendium of the evil and damned. Begun for his own amusement, the book takes on a momentum of its own and garners him a publisher’s advance. Meanwhile things with Laura are going so well that he’s accompanying her to Kansas to meet her parents. His life is going swimmingly . . . until it takes a dive.
“Thoroughly engaging, delightful and very funny . . . A coming-of-age story set in a post-Thatcherite world.” —The New York Times Book Review