Published in hardback by Jonathan Cape now, £14.99.

Smashing People tells the tale of a group of six friends who have known each other since university.

We follow them from the erudite surrounds of Oxford to the Big Smoke where they pursue careers in the media world of the 1980s.

The protagonist, Wilf Wellingborough is a pleasant and friendly chap - but rather puzzled by the complexities of life and love. Indeed, Wilf would be quite content for progress to pass him by completely.

Then he is dumbfounded when his childhood friend, Jimmy Spalding, makes him editor of the low-circulation but high-prestige Arts Unlimited magazine.

But the previous incumbent is no other than the dynamic, loud-mouthed and arguably brilliant Kitty Greaves...

Funny, dark and ultimately moving, Smashing People exposes the absurdities of journalism and publishing. And through all that, it is wise and sad about the ways of the human heart.