Life Beyond The Airing Cupboard by John Barclay

 Despite May’s hail, it is actually summer or a rough approximation of it. But then cricket is a dry game in a wet land, something that Life Beyond The Airing Cupboard makes clear with its tales of uncovered pitches on which Derek Underwood wreaks havoc. John Barclay was captain of Sussex, an attractive underachiever of a county, sprinkled with the…

The Green Man by Kingsley Amis

 Priapic pub landlord Maurice Allingham runs the Green Man in Hertfordshire. He has a y0ung wife, a young daughter Amy (by his first, dead, wife), a heroic drinking habit, some off-colour views about women but resolute common sense about more or less everything else, and a life which is on the point of falling apart. The…

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The 1920s:  Jay Gatsby has a palatial residence on Long Island Sound where he hosts fabulous parties for people who, in the main, he does not know. Or, in narrator Nick Carraway’s beautiful phrase, he ‘bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths’. No-one is sure who he is, let alone who he was and…