Greater London

James Russell


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Grand Iota
1 October 2021
ISBN: 9781874400820
278 pages

From the publisher

This tells the life-story (in flashback after his death) of Leo Barber, a celebrity across several domains. He first finds fame during the 1975 referendum on the UK’s membership of the Common Market (as it was then), by inventing a character called Jimmy Paxton, a faux-innocent, rabble-rousing xenophobe. Later in life he passes himself off as a poet, whose poems were in fact generated by computer in his brother’s laboratory. Later still he “authors” a book on the neuroscience of the creative mind, about which he knows nothing (though luckily his clever, put-upon brother does). But, despicable though he is, who would have thought he’d stoop to murder? We hear about all this in Leo’s own voice – discursive, opinionated, vulnerable, comic, often sympathetic. Not the voice or mind of a natural villain.