In 2007, Nicholas Lezard was kicked out of his home, for reasons we need not go into here. Since then he has been obliged to muster whatever scant internal resources he has - and to pay child support - while maintaining an entirely essential wine habit. From being the adult father in a household with three children he has had to relearn the art of being just one member of a shared home, as if he was a student all over again.
His housemates have included his great friend Razors, the psychopath with a heart of gold, and Laurie Penny, the brilliant feminist journalist and campaigner who still would prefer not to empty the bins.
He hopes this account of his adventures and misadventures in love, alcohol and games of Night Cricket played against the wall of the local church will be a comfort and an inspiration to all feckless male dolts in similar positions. And an Awful Warning for those who are, as yet, not.
Nicholas Lezard is a weekly contributor to the Guardian's book pages, and writes the 'Down and Out in London' column in the New Statesman,
from which this book has been adapted, and bits and bobs for the
Independent and the London Evening Standard, et al. He wrote the Guardian's notorious 'Slack Dad' column for years and was, for a decade, the Independent on Sunday's radio critic. But, as he has discovered, nothing lasts for ever.
Irresistibly, invigoratingly funny.
(Lezard's) chronicle of self-inflicted misfortune is outrageously enjoyable ... Anyone who enjoyed Withnail and I would love it.
Mail on Sunday - Francis Wheen
He is a master of the comic vignette even (or especially) when consumed with self-pity. From a gruesome visit to a lap-dancing club to a drunken night cricket match in a Marylebone mews, or an encounter with Boris Johnson's sister, Rachel ("I jumped; I think I may even have screamed a little bit"), his elegant excursion into the post-marital emotional wasteland is sweetened with an almost Wodehousian sense of the preposterous.
Evening Standard - Jane Shilling
A rueful survivalist's memoir.
The Times - Iain Finlayson
Part of the appeal of a memoir such as this is the vicarious experience of a life that you do not have to live yourself ... Bitter Experience Has Taught Me is not a proper book, but you probably won't care.
Observer - Nicholas Clee
Lezard combines self deprecation with that spirit of irreverence and pride in rule-breaking familiar to those of us who grew up in, or shortly after, the punk years.
There are belly laughs on every page ... Well, his New Statesman readers love him, and many more will too, on reading this hilarious book.
Independent - Leyla Sanai