If you never thought you'd find yourself laughing out loud at the prospect of human extinction, then Spurious is the book to make you do it. The interchanges between its two characters range from anticipating the coming of the apocalypse, that is, of financial and environmental collapse, to W.'s berating of Lars's constant snacking; from bemoaning the impossibility of thinking like the thinkers of "Old Europe" used to think, to W.'s advice on the importance of always carrying wipes in your manbag. The juxtaposition of grand themes, spoken about with an earnestness too close to the themes to be illuminating and too hyperbolic to ever be enough, and the minutiae of the character's minor illnesses and sartorial choices, the effect of alcohol on their mental life and the pattern of their digestion, feels like a comedy sketch in which you're constantly having the rug pulled from under your feet. But the minute sensibility of hypochondria in the face of disaster is, it turns out, seriously funny, in that dark way that death is sometimes funny: almost everything else is, by contrast, ridiculously unimportant, and nothing important avoids being utterly futile. Maybe humour is the only way we have of being true to the fact that we are only human. If so, then Spurious is, more than anything else, a very human novel.