A story of love, nuclear terror and Philip Larkin
Born at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, 'at the very moment when the world looked most as if it were going to blow itself up', Nicholas has spent his life in terror of atomic meltdown. Now, on the eve of his 48th birthday, he is on an overnight coach ride to join an anti-nuclear rally at Faslane in Scotland.
His fellow travellers remind him of his younger self at Hull University in the 1980s — a time he spent under the twin clouds of unrequited love and apocalyptic terror. As the coach rumbles through the night, the floodgates of memory open, and Nicholas begins to scrawl episodes from his past into a notebook. At first these memories — sometimes poignant, sometimes comic, and often involving Philip Larkin — appear almost random. But in time a picture emerges: of a thwarted first love, and a fragile mind struggling to keep hold of sanity in a world that seems headed for annihilation.
This delightful, eccentric novel and its tragi-comic hero will be relished by mavericks and misfits, rebels and renegades the world over.