The last thing James is expecting on the day he joins Samson Brothers is a funeral procession - thirty cars behind a black limo adorned with a guitar-shaped wreath - but then nothing could have prepared him for the extraordinary cast of characters who are now his colleagues. There's Reg Prentice, his boss, cringe-makingly indiscreet about his own private life and everyone else's; Margery, still single at twenty-three and anxious she's going past her sell-by date; Henry, the chief of technical support, who everyone knows is a dab hand with the mascara; and lurking in the wings, the sinister figures of Mutt and Jeff, two American management consultants, bent on silencing all this unproductive rabbitting for good. At the heart of it all, is the story of Clive - to whom the company are paying their last respects today - whose everyday tragedy has a very real message about the little guy's struggle to be heard in an increasingly corporate world.
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Joe Pemberton was born and grew up in Manchester. A former Maths tutor and electrician, he is a graduate of the University of Manchester Creative Writing Course, where he was tutored by Hilary Mantel.
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