This novel will sell by the bucket. To few authors of the last decade can we apply – the phrase ‘Publishing Sensation’ with quite the same confidence as we can to Nick Hornby. Even people who simply don’t buy books have at least one Hornby title on their shelves, underneath the football programmes or next to the CD rack. He is on intimate terms with the sprawling middle class into which Britain has evolved, moving with case and humour among Joe Public’s favourite pastimes: football, pop music and relationships. More than a few of Hornby’s fans might be surprised by his new novel. It is about parenthood, suicide, the consequences of moral neutrality, and a weird twelve-year-old kid.
The setting is modern London. North London, to be precise, between the Angel and Finsbury Park. Quite close to Highbury, as it happens. This is the manor of Will Freeman, an unwillingly single, thirty something man with a CD collection almost as vast as the disposable income for which he