Mr. Phillips wakes on a summer’s Monday morning in
his modest, nearly mortgage-free house, in the bed he has contentedly shared
with his wife of almost thirty years, ready to face another ordinary working
Except that this day is not ordinary, for on the
previous Friday, Mr. Phillips was summarily fired. Through no fault of his own,
Mr. Philips has suddenly found his whole life cast into doubt.
Unable to deal with this disaster—unable to even
tell his wife—Mr. Phillips rises at his usual hour and prepares himself, as he
had done his entire working life, for the job he no longer has. Dressed for
work with no work to do, he wanders the streets of London, seeing the world as
if for the first time, and what he sees triggers memories. Some are improbably
funny, some deeply affecting, and all gradually build a portrait of a decent
man who only days before knew exactly who he was—husband, home owner, father,
valued employee—and on this day wonders what he can become.
With his eye for the telling detail, his ear for the
commonplace speech that make each of us who we are, John Lanchester has created
both a jewel of a novel and an everyman for our times. Download and start listening now!