Mars-Jones, Adam


Meet John Cromer – ‘one of the most original comic creations in recent fiction’ – and discover one of the great overlooked adventures in literature. Plenty can be daunting, but in the spirit of compromise this feast of a novel is served on a succession of small plates, each portion providing an adult’s daily intake of literary nourishment in episodes that are variously sweet and sour. For starters there’s the time John spends living out of his beloved Mini in 1970s Cambridge, before settling into a life of qualified independence. The whole banquet is accompanied by lashings of John’s ideas about the Lady Godiva of militant twelfth-century Hindu poetry, about the eroticism of fine glassware, the omnipresence of the number 108 and the undeclared war between wheelchairs and carpet tiles. ‘Caret’ is a long book but not a heavy one, its prose triple-whipped to guarantee a light and creamy texture.


Publish Date: 01/01/2030


‘We make lazy assumptions about the centre of things and its location. Who’s to say that the centre of things isn’t in a corner, way over there?’

‘People in authority are always saying you should know your rights, though I’ve noticed they don’t much enjoy it when you do.’

‘Nobody can be a person twenty-fours hours a day – it just can’t be done. At night the sets dissolve and the performance falls away. We’re off the books.’

That’s John Cromer talking, in this fresh instalment of his lifelong saga. For John, embarking on a new stage of life in 1970s Cambridge, charm and wit aren’t just assets, they are survival skills. It may be a case of John against the world. If so, don’t be in too much of a hurry to bet on the world.

Conjuring a remarkable voice and mind, Caret is a feast of a novel, served on a succession of small plates, each portion providing an adult’s daily intake of literary nourishment. Reading it – like any encounter with John Cromer — is guaranteed to help you work, rest and play.

‘Thank god for John Cromer and his creator Adam Mars-Jones, one of the funniest, most self-aware characters in English fiction, whose minute observations on everything from constipation to lust are a source of unexpected delight.’ Linda Grant

Additional information

Weight 1100 g
Dimensions 240 × 158 × 50 mm










Hardback original


823.92 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K