To all appearances, Laurence Passmore is sitting pretty. True, he's almost bald and his nickname is "Tubby," but the TV sitcom he writes keeps the money coming in, he has an exclusive house in Rummidge, a state-of-the-art car, a vigorous sex life with his wife of thirty years, a flat in London, and a platonic mistress to talk shop with on his regular business trips. What his money can't buy, and his many therapists can't deliver, is contentment. It's not the trouble behind the scenes of his TV show that is bugging him, or even the persistent pain in his knee which expensive surgery fails to alleviate. It's a deeper, nameless unease, and his quest for the source of it will lead him into an obsession with Kierkegaard, brushes with the police, gossip-column notoriety, and strange beds and bedrooms worldwide. As his ordered life threatens to unravel, Tubby struggles to tie up the ends by going back to the beginning - to South London, his first love, and an act of bad faith which he had suppressed but never entirely recovered from.
Well known for his academic satires (e.g., Changing Places), Lodge here crafts the story of a successful sitcom writer who has everything but what he wants the most: peace of mind. Viking will be redesigning Lodge's backlist titles in a renewed promotion of his books.