'The funniest book I've read for years' - The Times (London)
'Among the few great writers of our time' - Auberon Waugh, The Independent
'Well written and amusing' - Library Journal
Keith Waterhouse's comic masterpiece Billy Liar (1959) introduced us to Billy Fisher, a seventeen-year-old undertaker's clerk whose inability to tell the truth led him into constant (and often hilarious) trouble with his parents, his employer, and his three girlfriends. It was a smash success, becoming a bestseller and winning widespread acclaim for both the novel and the classic film adaptation.
In this 1975 sequel, Billy is thirty-three but still hasn't grown out of his propensity for lying. Stuck in a loveless marriage in a dismal town, where he has a dead-end job in local government, Billy seeks escape through his affair with Helen, who is also unhappily married. But once again he finds himself in danger of being undone by his lies: vodka martinis charged to his expense account, a wise-cracking alter ego named Oscar, a false police report about a stolen set of nonexistent golf clubs, an imaginary cat named 'Mr Pussy-paws' . . . Now the all-important town festival is approaching, but instead of doing the planning, Billy is busy trying to keep ahead of the suspicions of his wife, the police, and Helen's jealous husband. It all leads up to a disastrous and uproarious conclusion that The Times called 'side-achingly, laugh-aloud funny'. This edition includes a new introduction by Alice Ferrebe.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Keith Waterhouse represents to me a true descendent of the 'great tradition'. His novels, both the 'light' and the more serious (and note that Waterhouse is always funny, even at his darkest moments) concern far more than just the individual. His work is always concerned with the individual in the wider world, and his tales of personal neurosis and obsession are inextricably interwoven with sharp social commentary. Like Dickens, he imitates flawlessly peoples manner of speech and depicts their physical appearance and deportment in a way that is illuminating, provocative and frequently hilarious. Waterhouse uses humour in a sharp satiric way, and the obsessions of his characters (Waterhouse's characters are always a neurotic bunch) are portrayed so that they connect with the setting and matter of the story. As ever, Waterhouse works into this wondrous microcosm affairs, both promiscuous and family, and ties it all together, to give a portrait of the individual in...
Sequel to "Billy Liar".Billy Fisher, about 15 years older, still hasn't reached London. He is married(has a mistress too), works in City Council in some town similar to Stradhoughton and still lives in his own world of dreams. From person who appeared in "Billy Liar" only his mother is present.
After a series of crazy episodes Billy, whose wife is expecting a child finally decides to grow up.
Keith Waterhouse shouldn't have written this sequel.
First, as usual with sequels, it isn't as good as first part.
Second, a character like this is not convincing while growing up. Can you imagine a sequel to "Catcher in the Rye" with Holden Caulfield growing up? The same with Billy Fisher. He should have been left in Stradhoughton or/and in Ambrosia.
It doesn't mean that "Billy Liar on the Moon" is bad. It's still very good and worth reading although as I said earlier not as good as "Billy Liar". So 4 stars instead of 5.
Billy Liar has still not grown up - and he stuffs up big time. He ends up loosing an interesting job and ends up in a dead end clerical position. Still from the perspective of the era of out sourcing and prejudice against older workers (rampant in Australia) its better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!
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