In a forensic dissection of Britain's souring landscape Gordon Burn tells the tale of Ray Cruddas, a light entertainer effecting a semi-dignified retreat from his fading career, who returns to the unnamed northern town of his youth.'Burn carves a tale of mutual dependence between two also-rans - Ray, once a successful Geordie comedian, and Jackie, an almost made-it boxer . . . It is a book about ageing, about the long haul between what you hoped your life might be and the acceptance of what it is - and about the loneliness of men.' Anna Raeburn, Jewish Chronicle

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