Howard Jacobson writes a novel about a writer who is writing a book about a writer in current day London. The protagonist in both books is utterly unlikable in every aspect except that he makes acute, hilarious and smack-dab smart observations about reading/readers, literature, art and the publishing world. He also hilariously hits nearly every single single self-absorbed narcissistic thought that every writer/artist has ever had about himself/herself and their craft, but wishes they hadn't, which makes reading it sometimes painful. Jacobson hilariously dives into the shadow of living as a writer. Not liking someone has never been so thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud funny. The ending is tremendously surprising and hopefully without adding a spoiler, the protagonist seems to (possibly) be growing as a feeling and ethical human being, or at least is considering it. It's dirty. Some say for the sake of being dirty, I say, it's essential to what he's trying to accomplish in exposing the underbelly of being an artist, because most art is highly self-absorbed, and his protagonist's literary heroes were overtly sexual males as well. It is splendidly twisted.