If you happen to be young and male, chances are that you may be one of life’s observers, one of those people who sit on the sidelines and let life pass them by. At least you may well be if you belong to the generation that doesn’t really know how to live. If, in short, you have always been left to your own devices and have only ever needed to think about yourself and your effect on others, you will need to devise your own set of rules to cover all aspects of life.
The first thing you will need to organise is your love life, because if you haven’t got a girlfriend you’ll be going nowhere. Then there is the crucial question of finances, as the 97-year-old aunt who has always been so generous with her funds can hardly be expected to live forever. But once you’ve finally left school, things start to get really complicated, because, as you will soon discover, you’ll still be spending most of your time sitting on the sidelines and merely observing: as a student of art history surrounded by beautiful women, in a car earning your keep as a taxi driver, and finally inadvertently appearing in a TV show, which will no doubt make you a star. NB: even as one of life’s observers you will inevitably learn how to live in a society devoid of heroes.
"Life, an instruction manual: a modern-day "Everyman" bungles his way through the series of disasters we call our youth. A screamingly funny, deadly serious, simply terrific novel." Daniel Kehlmann