Stumbling through the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties, Henry Pratt accumulates jobs, marriages and children on the way as he embarks on a touching, painful and hilarious switchback ride through a divided Britain.
Stumbling through the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties, Henry accumulates marriages and children along the way and THE COMPLETE PRATT is a touching and hilarious ride through a divided Britain...
But in David Nobbs’s brilliantly funny evocation of a Yorkshire boyhood, unathletic and over-imaginative little Pratt proves he can stick up for himself with the stoic good nature of the great British underdog
So begins Reggie's battle against consumerism. Driven to desperation by the rat race and the unpunctuality of Britain's trains, Reggie's small eccentricities escalate to the extreme.
Until, finally, he leaves behind the unacceptable face of capitalism altogether. Driven off in a motorised jelly, and creating the world's biggest loganberry slick on his way, he dumps his clothes on a Dorset beach and sets off for new adventures...
When we first meet Reggie, he is sick to death with selling exotic ices at Sunshine Desserts. Driven to desperation by the rat race and the unpunctuality of Britain's trains, Reggie's small eccentricites escalate to the extreme, until finally he leaves the unacceptable face of capitalism behind by driving off in a stolen motorised jelly. In his pursuit of the unconventional, he devotes himself to faking his own death, opening a shop devoted to selling completely useless goods, and setting up a commune strictly for the middle-class and middle-aged.
Join Reggie, who didn't get where he is today without some help from some memorable supporting characters, in one man's quest to avoid an everyday existence.
One man, five very different women.
James Hollingshurst is a man shaped by those who surround him. And in James's case, it's some very different women. Be it his trusty wife Deborah, his hapless PA Marcia or his ex-girlfriend Jane. And there's one woman in James's life who looks set to upset the status quo...
But a tragic accident is about to shake the bedrock of life as James knows it. An event sets a train in motion, which will challenge everything he's ever known and everyone he's ever loved. It will also bring his beloved daughter, Charlotte who he has not seen for fifteen years, tantalisingly close to him...
Meet the Divots. They seem a happily married couple, in their cosy suburban home in a cosy suburban town. Then, one day, everything begins to change. Nick drops his bombshell. He wants to become Nicola. Alison is extremely upset, naturally. But she has more reason than most to be upset, because she has a secret too. She wants to become Alan. Nick has pulled the rug from under her. However, she's always been the supportive type and she'll wait her turn.
Will Nick become Nicola? Can Alison become Alan? Can both partners in a marriage change sex and save their marriage? What effect will this have on their children, the sexy Emma and the hi-tech loner Graham? There are dramatic changes in store for them too - and for Alison's father, Bernie.
In the spirit of David Nobbs' acclaimed novel Going Gently, Sex and Other Changes is a funny, touching and compassionate study of what being a man and a woman really means.
Setting up a commune strictly for the middle-class and middle-aged, Reggie's therapy centre nurtures its clients, encouraging them to find the love and goodness that lurks deep inside.
And he's gathered together the unlikeliest of staff to help him- including C.J. (for people's work problems), David Harris-Jones (handling their sex problems), plus Tony Webster (culture), his son-in-law Tom (sport) and Doc Morrissey (psychology).
With a team like this, how can the indomitable, unconventional R.I.P. ever fail in his bid to create a Better World?
What a life it has been. Her six marriages have ended in suicide, a husband's adultery, another husband's deportation as a dangerous alien, a union dispute, a murder, and a natural death. But Kate's journey through the twentieth century is also a search for the truth - about life, death, and which of her three sons murdered her fifth husband.
This is a novel rich in memorable characters, from Kate's narrow but loving Welsh family to the wild members of an artists' colony in Cornwall; from Midland piston manufacturers to an investigative journalist whose own life cannot bear investigation.
When revelations about the scandalous relationships and less than honest business practices of Sir Gordon Coppinger – infamous financier and devotee of excess – are made public, the glamorous façade of his London life begins to crumble and those around him fear the worst.
But, much to Sir Gordon’s surprise, all he can feel is relief.
In this brilliant and funny examination of modern British values, where success is governed by the principles of wealth and celebrity and driven by the insatiable desire to attain more and more, we meet the perfect anti-hero: Gordon Coppinger, a man going quietly sane.
But, as usual in Henry's life, things begin to go wrong. He incurs the deep hatred of rival celebrity chef Bradley Tompkins, with his bad manners, bad wig and no Michelin stars. A war is waged against him, escalating into plots and deceptions which threaten to destroy the reputation and career of the man dubbed 'The People's Chef'. It must be Bradley behind all this - or must it?
On the domestic front, too, there are storms ahead. Henry is blissfully happy in his second marriage to Hilary, but he is sorely tempted by young Nicky and his lovely co-star Sally. Can he resist? Can he become a real man at last? Or will success spoil Henry Pratt for good...?
We last met Henry Pratt in The Cucumber Man. Pratt à Manger continues the hilarious story of a great British underdog.
‘I’m the groom’s father. You’re the bride’s mother. It’s their wedding day.’
When Ted Simcock, maker of toasting forks in a small Yorkshire town, tries to avoid the inevitable with beautiful dentist’s wife Liz Rodenhurst, his anguished attempt fails utterly, with huge consequences for both their families.
From one awkward ‘do’ to the next, via a dentists’ dinner dance and the Crowning of Miss Frozen Chicken (UK), the fall-out touches everyone, but none more than Liz’s husband Laurence and Ted’s wife Rita, the unexpected heroine of this tale.
Charting the relationship of newlyweds Paul and Jenny, along with the infamous coupling of their respective parents, Ted and Liz, this book will have you cringing, crying and laughing out loud.
Why should up-and-coming, thirty-two-year-old executive Robert Bellamy get himself the sack? What made him draw a caricature of the Exports Manager on the wall of the non-executive gents? Why is he his own worst enemy?
Is it because he nearly ran away from boarding school on his third day or because, when he was fourteen, his mother developed a fatal friendship for a man who looked like Hitler? Does his sense of inadequacy stem from his once being mistaken for a draft of 350 men? Or from his failure long ago to do justice to the facilities at Mme Antoinette's Maison d'Amitié (Paris branch)? Has he been too slow with Sonia, too fast with Frances?
Whatever the reason, one act of brinkmanship seems to lead to another. Robert finds himself involved in a series of embarrassing farewells and confusing interviews and open and shut court case as he drifts towards the prospect of a stiflingly happy Christmas and an intolerably cheerful New Year.
Life is still a social minefield in this small Yorkshire town. From the opening of a vegetarian restaurant to the inauguration of the Outer Inner Relief Ring Road, join Ted and Liz as they struggle through another series of excruciatingly funny ‘do’s’ in this sequel to A BIT OF A DO.
Can Ted find happiness with a waitress, now that he and Liz are no longer an item? Can Liz bring comfort to the grieving Neville, her strangely immaculate second husband?
Above all, how will Ted’s ex-wife Rita manage as her family becomes more dysfunctional at every function? Can she possibly be as happy as she seems?
Long-time Potherthwaite resident Sally Mottram cannot stand the decline of her town. The bookshop is about to close, abandoned buildings line the canal and Potherthwaite’s residents seem stuck in a disheartened rut. Something has to be done, but what? And who will do it?
When an unexpected tragedy shatters Sally’s life, she bravely takes on the task herself. Supported by a group of locals, including thrice-married Marigold Boyce-Willoughby, who is forever looking for love, and married couple Jill and Arnold Buss, who might both be falling for their new neighbours, Sally embarks on her ambition to bring the town back to life. But can one woman rally a whole community to save itself?
David Nobbs’ much-anticipated new novel is a hilarious, heartwarming tale about what keeps our community spirits alive.
‘Three mighty obstacles threaten the burgeoning love of childhood sweethearts Timothy Pickering and Naomi Walls. They are Steven Venables, a dead curlew and God.’
1978: Two lovers perch precariously on the cusp of adulthood. Timothy’s father decides it’s time for him to take on the family taxidermy business; while Naomi dreams of a career on stage.
Across the decades their lives continue to interweave, and occasionally cross – bound by the pull of intoxicating first love. But will their destinies ultimately unite them?
Nobbs moves his exceptional comic talent to a new-found depth. Memorable and moving, a tale of love won and love lost. You will never look at the art of taxidermy in the same way again.
But can they survive their differences in age and background? Are Alan's feelings the stuff of obsession and infatuation or is this true love? And what sort of philosopher is he if he cannot define and understand love?
Told through the voice of Alan, this touching and hilarious story is much more than a tale about an unlikely couple. Ultimately, it is a story about the nature of love.
One wintry afternoon a lodger named Wilson arrives at 38, Trebisall Avenue, filled with hope. As he crosses the threshold of Mrs Pollard's house, with its "aura of impending stew" he becomes a new man. This is a tactic he has tried before, just as he has tried many jobs before, from cook to seismographer's assistant. But alas, each time he was sacked because it was not his vocation. And so he has moved on, from town to town, from landlady to landlady: from Mrs McManus of Barnstaple, to Mrs McManus of Newport (I.O.W). Now, under the motherly eye of Mrs Pollard, he attempts a number of new vocations including those of poet and postman. Strange things befall him in the process: he is even tried and convicted for scandalous offences of which he has no recollection. But his progress continues, out through the end of this book, in search of a panacea for all mankind.
' " A change of environment will bring you new business and personal interests," said Cousin Percy. Pegasus was glad to hear this.' Whether Pegasus Baines would have been so glad had he foreseen the outcome of his hasty decision to abandon the career of potential Nobel-prize winning nutrition scientist in favour of that world famous chef is less certain. The change of environment from North London with its deafening traffic to East Anglia with its menacing power stations brings new nightmares and new problems into his life.
The 'ostrich country' of David Nobbs' novel lies somewhere between modern Britain and cloud cuckoo-land. Pegasus Baines is an innocent idealist, a self-deceiver. The tale of his tangles which gradually involve mistresses old and new, long-suffering family and several more-or-less innocent bystanders, modulates from honours melancholy to hilarious farce.
As a struggling writer, David was catapulted into the thrilling world of satire at the BBC when he rang THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS with a joke and got through to David Frost, who sent a taxi for the joke. He never looked back. His greatness as a modern comic writer was confirmed by the publication of THE FALL AND RISE OF REGINALD PERRIN, which he adapted into the immensely successful television series that has entered the fabric of British cultural life, through phrases, images and brilliant humour.
A mesmerising, beautifully told tale of life in writing and comedy, I DIDN'T GET WHERE I AM TODAY is the hilarious, poignant and very personal story of David Nobbs' life, which also describes some of the most famous comedians of the last century and captures a golden age of British television.