The Manana Man by James Birrell

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About the Book

A brilliant bitter-sweet novel about friendship, romance, love, death and turning thirty.
What do you do when a close friend unexpectedly dies?

Get everyone together for the party of their lives!

Pennance Ward and his great friends, Pine, Stan and Ting, have always hung out together at St Pete's, a café bar where they listen to their favourite CDs and enjoy spiralling what-if conversations. When Ting is killed in a random stabbing, the remaining trio must honour their promise to hold the stag-wake they once casually discussed but never really believed they would ever see.

The guys set out on a big weekend of dance, drugs, drink, sex, curry and karaoke, ending in a wild road trip. Of course the girls want to come along too, including Ali Fox, a Drop Dead Honey in Pennance's eyes. Could this finally be the moment for Pennance to stop putting life off until tomorrow?

Funny, moving and unputdownable, The Mañana Man is, above all, a story about friendship in its many forms that will make you laugh, cry and cry laughing.

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780007122363
  • ISBN 10: 0007122365
  • Imprint: HarperCollins GB
  • On Sale: 03/06/2003
  • Pages: 384
  • BISAC1: FICTION / General

About Author

James Birrell left Glasgow at the age of seventeen to find his fortune. He only got as far as Leeds before his bank balance convinced him that he needed a job to fund his search. After ten years in a variety of suited jobs which served only to buy ponies for other peoples’ kids, James decided to give up searching for his fortune and took up writing instead. Gambling everything he had, which didn't actually amount to more than a rucksack full of shady clothes and a pair of inflatable bath pillow breasts, he hung up his tie and decided to take up the two finger tap dance while travelling in South America. Convinced by his friends that it would be character building to work on a charity project he signed up to help build a school in Belize after his travels. It was during his three months of sleeping in the jungle that he first put his story telling prowess to the test. Sitting round the camp fire night after night , wishing he'd read the small print, he began writing notes on the stories he told by candle light to the accompaniment of mosquito slapping. An errant spark taught him the importance of keeping copies of his scribblings, a lesson that two hard drive crashes have subsequently helped to brand into his brain. Mistrustful of computers ever since one cheated him at solitaire, he is still in the habit of writing his notes out longhand before applying Elastoplasts to his fingers and pounding the keyboard. From his hammock in Belize to the Ikea faux pine desk in his flat in Leeds he continued to scribble and type, eschewing the everyday needs of washing and eating and determined never to wear another tie ever again. Having given up the common mediocrity that was his corporate life James found himself embarking on a journey for which he had neither map nor compass. It was a road fraught with danger, stiff fingers and monitor neck, and driven by the need to pay his mortgage he finally had a manuscript ready to deliver. A quick shifty at the shelves in his local bookshop led him to an agent and the rest, as they say, was just a long walk to Hardwork.With his first novel published and the notes piling for his next, the Universe decided to have a laugh with him and introduced him to the love of his life when he left the safety of his Leeds home to attend a publishing party under the bright lights of Old London Town. Love led him to leave Leeds, move to the Big Stink, get married, and become a father. All within twelve months of attending the party.His life has changed drastically since that day he gave up the search for his fortune and first took up the way of the pen. His experience sits there as a warning to all. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.James can now be found sitting at his desk still writing by candle light with little traces of baby sick in his hair, and smiling.


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