Pub Walks in Underhill Country by Nat Segnit is a cunning, hilarious and heartbreaking novel that takes the form of a guide for walkers but is really a whole lot more . . .
'Start by turning right out of the main entrance of Malvern Link railway station . . .'
So begins Graham Underhill's guide to rambling in the West Midlands. But it is not many yards before Graham has gone completely off track, all but abandoning the route ahead to exult in his love for his beautiful if headstrong wife Sunita.
Along the way Graham treats us to his intemperate views on mountain bikers, litter louts, landscape photographers, and the Highways Agency, who are intent on building a bypass through his home. At least he has Sunita. Or does he? With each walk it becomes clearer that the paths of Underhill Country lead into treacherous terrain.
'If Vladimir Nabokov had written episodes of The Archers (with a little script advice from W G Sebald), then he might just have struck a note that chimed with the peculiar music of this beguiling first novel' Independent
'A metafictional escapade . . . has both Nabokov and Alan Partridge as its forebears' Daily Telegraph
'Has echoes of Mike Leigh's best films and Paul Torday's smash debut, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' Daily Mail
Nat Segnit lives in London. His journalism and stories have appeared in several national newspapers, and his play, Dolphin Therapy, and two co-written comedy series, Strangers on Trains and Beautiful Dreamers, were broadcast on Radio 4. Pub Walks in Underhill Country is his first novel.