This is the Life
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The debut novel from Joseph O'Neill, author of the Man Booker Prize longlisted and Richard & Judy pick, ‘Netherland’.
James Jones is slipping steadily through life. He has a steady job as a junior partner at a solicitor's firm, a steady girlfriend and a steady mortgage. Nothing much is happening in Jones's life but he really doesn't mind – this is exactly the way he likes it.
Michael Donovan, meanwhile, is a star – a world-class international lawyer and advocate – he's everything Jones wanted to be and isn't. Jones was once Donovan's pupil and, for a while, it looked like he too would make his name – but he left that high-powered world behind a long time ago, or so he thought.
One day Jones reads in the paper that Donovan has collapsed in court – then, out of the blue, Donovan contacts him; he has a job he needs Jones to work on.
Joseph O'Neill's debut is wonderfully clever and comic novel – about ambitions and aspirations and the realities that they inevitably collide with.