Author: Mark Watson
Published: Scribner on May 2011
Xavier Ireland is the assumed name of a radio-show host with a devoted following of listeners riveted by the sleepless loners who call in throughout the night to seek his advice. Off the air, he leads a low-key life of avoiding his neighbors, playing Scrabble, and maintaining an awkward friendship with his cohost, Murray. But his life begins to change when he meets a cleaning lady named Pippa, who becomes a constant, surprisingly necessary presence in his life as he starts facing up to his past and discovering solace and redemption in the most unexpected places. British comedian Mark Watson’s North American debut humorously and poignantly explores life and death, strangers and friends, heartache and comfort, and whether the choices we don’t make affect us just as powerfully as the ones we do.
My Review: This was another bargain book that i took a chance on and loved it. I really enjoyed seeing how everyone’s actions effected each other but it always went back to Xavier. This gives you lots to think about in your own life. My favorite character was Pippa. I thought she was funny, interesting and a hard worker. She was really good with Xavier and really helped him realized he needed to heal and move on from the past even though she didn’t know about what happened to him back in Australia. I think she could just sense there was something going on and even Murray said that Xavier was a changed man now that Pippa was around. I found some parts in the book funny but not to memorable, I thought Mark Watson being a comedian that the book would make me laugh out loud more. I enjoyed listening to the people who called in to the radio show, the old ladies story was my favorite. Overall this was a touching story and a quick read.
“OK.Just tell me again, when did you come to the decision that you were going to sabotage your entire career?”
“Literally while I was taking a dump.”
Reading Group Guide (In back of the book):
Q: In the sequence the begins with Xavier not helping Frankie Carstairs, which occurrence has the greatest impact on future events? Which characters had choices in the direction their lives tool which ones did not?
A: I think that the occurrence that has the greatest impact on future events was when Xavier went over to the teachers house to give him support. This saved the mans life and if he died it would have been the ultimate tragedy. A character that had a choice in which direction his life could have gone would have been Julius. He didn’t need to rob anyone to get money for the gym, he should have just worked out at home/outside and found a new job. This would have saved a lot of people a lot of problems.