Pewter Stapelton is drowning under a pile of marking. He teaches creative writing at a university in Sheffield, a campus peopled with malign cost-cutting accountants, baffled security staff and colleagues cloning themselves.
From Pewter's desk and his marking, the novel radiates backwards and forwards in time, to his childhood in the small volcanic Caribbean island of St. Caesare and memories of his headmaster, the libidinous Professeur Croissant and Horace his half-mad cousin, and to his relationships with Carrington, a highly successful Caribbean writer whose plays Pewter is editing, to Balham, a professional of the race industry and to Lee, the woman he loves, but who despairs of him as 'sporadic'.
As a novel about life and writing, factuality and invention rub shoulders to hilarious effect as Pewter is incessantly driven to turn his experiences, his friends and their experiences into works of drama and fiction.
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