I have to say that I might not have given this book the read it deserves. I found it incredibly dense with metaphor and simile - and its style is elliptical, almost too casual for the freight carried by the words. I feel this book deserved a slower, more attentive read, but much of it, for me, in my usual reading style (fast) seemed to promise much then pass me by. My feeling of regret is also tinged with impatience because clarity is what I expect, but it has to be said that Will Eaves is a writer with a lot to say and that he, himself, I think, rather than me, is to blame for any inattention, as he throws it all down with rather too much negligence.
This book concerns a series of theatrical people, or TV actors, or agents, plus the people they live with, grew up with, interact with. A large cast of characters is given not much room to manoeuvre. Two of them stand out: Alice, a plump, highly intelligent actor, with a problem sister, also an actor; and Leslie, a bit of a soak who inadvertently gives Alice her first acting success. As with his first book, Eaves enlivens his characters with authentic humanity, but there might be slightly too many of them in this book to make the magic work.
His wit is sharp and clever, his depth of writing means that he is never merely funny. Tragedy underpins humour just as it does in real life; that is fatally, or sometimes peripherally, but always cuttingly. The book is ambitious and has a delicious twist in the tale. I am immensely admiring of Eaves' writing, but I think, to do him justice, I will have to read this book again some time: but slowly.