I've had this book for years and have only just got around to reading it. Bad me. Still, I'm glad I did. There's something quite passionate in the writing, a strong whiff of desperation about the main character that could be off-putting but instead becomes deeply involving. That's quite an achievement for a book that's about four blokes who like to drink beer and watch football. (I'm just not a football person, okay?)
We went to the pub after that, a big old barn of a place ten miles out into the deep suburbs - somewhere like Uxbridge or Pinner. Again, it was more or less empty, and we drank cold beer under parasols in the garden and ate Ploughman's Lunches with piccalilli and onions. By the time three o'clock and closing time came around, we were beginning to feel sleepy; the running, the sun and the aftermath of the cocaine had given us a kind of perfect languor.
I hear Tim Lott's first book, The Scent of Dried Roses, is also very good. I'll go and find a copy of that, I think. Because I like the semi-colon in the paragraph above.