By John Lanchester
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780140298369, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2001
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Mr. Phillips wakes on a summer's Monday morning in his modest, nearly mortgage-free house, ready to face another ordinary working day. Except this day is far from ordinary, for on the previous Friday, Mr. Phillips was summarily sacked. Unable to deal with this disaster--unable even to tell his own wife--Mr. Phillips rises at his usual hour and prepares himself for the job he no longer has. As he wanders the streets of London, what he sees triggers memories. Gradually a picture develops of a decent man who, only days before, knew exactly who and what he was--husband, home-owner, father, valued employee--and on this day wonders who and what he can become.
Using the bits and pieces of one man's past, John Lanchester has drawn a fully dimensional life and, in the process, made in Mr. Phillips an Everyman for our times.
John Lanchester is the author of The Debt to Pleasure (winner of the Whitbread and Hawthornden prizes) and Mr. Phillips. Raised in Hong Kong, he now lives in London with his wife and sons.
"Near-perfect." --The Washington Post Book World
"The Debt to Pleasure...was greeted with such approval around the world (translated into more than 20 languages) as to make it a very tough act to follow. With Mr. Phillips, he has given readers that rare thing, a second novel better than the first." --Thomas Lynch, The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Lanchester triumphs again as the poet laureate of male hysteria, creating a fully imagined, entirely convincing, and utterly unlikely hero." --Boston Sunday Globe