I was laughing out loud during the last quarter of this book; it was a fun read, and there was the bonus of it being well written too. The stylish writing saved the mid third from being mired by a bit of boggy floundering; the debauched night on the town may have been mostly irrelevant but it provided funny descriptions of a hangover. ("I may have groaned. My body was made from wads of soggy material inexpertly lashed together with stringy sinews. The wads composed of the worst stuff possible – bad milk, wine turned to vinegar, chewed gum, earwax, the black crud that accrues on the bottom of computer mice. The connecting sinews all strained and ached. It was a bad scene."
I loved his observations, ("On the landing...was a woman, hair tied back in the ubiquitous headscarf, her age an irrelevant point somewhere between forty-five and seventy. A life of poor diet and hard work had turned her into a huge callus, and her nose was pushed up in a way that inescapably reminded me of the squashed face of a bat."
) and his interior monologue . His care of his friend's flat with the gorgeous wooden floors is marred by the cumulative effects of foreseeable and preventable incidents, yet his continued rationalisation of his actions is helplessly human, and although not quite endearing they are oddly understandable. The cats in the flat understood him too: "It was slightly galling that the cat tired of the game before I did. ... The fifteenth or sixteenth time I threw the cork, my playmate simply did not move. It studied the projectile with geological indifference and turned away, tail aloft like a raised middle finger."