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'Excuse Me for Living' is a novel about high and not-so-high-living among rich Americans.

Central figure Dan Topler is a young man, who, on the face of it, has everything. Privileged, intelligent and witty he seems doomed to die young and has drug issues as well as suicidal tendencies. His parents have problems of their own, while Dan's sister Coco has her eyes firmly set on the family fortune.

Dan ends up getting treatment for his problems, but he's a wise-cracking and unwilling patient, and is constantly looking at ways of getting out of rehab to attend his friends notorious parties.

Dr. Jacob Bernstein does his best to help Dan sort his life out, and things become complicated when Dan wants to date Bernstein's daughter, Laura.

We're shown a deeper side to this anti-hero's personality, when Dan's early cynicism for the group of old guys he's forced to engage with, as part of his treatment, gradually fades.

One of the most endearing relationships in 'Excuse Me for Living' also underlines Dan Topler as being a basically decent man. A troubled young girl, Ally, is infatuated with him, and Dan frets about how his relationship with Laura is going to impact on his young friend.

'Excuse Me for Living' emphasises that, as human beings, we are a mass of contradictions, notably with the unlikely relationship between Barry, a professor, and a young, seemingly hard as nails attorney, Charlotte.

The charm of the book is that nothing works out in a predictable way, and the love affairs often don't either...

- Paul Rance/

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Richard Adams - Watership Down
Jane Austen - Pride And Prejudice
Lewis Carroll - Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass
Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote
Charles Dickens - A Tale Of Two Cities
Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist
Harry Graham - When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat
Kenneth Grahame - The Wind In The Willows
Graham Greene - Brighton Rock
John Hegley - Glad To Wear Glasses
James Joyce - Dubliners
Franz Kafka - The Trial
Ric Klass - Excuse Me For Living
Robert Lacey, Danny Danziger - The Year 1000

Edward Lear - Complete Nonsense
C.S. Lewis - The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
Paul Merton - My Struggle
George Orwell - 1984
Wilfred Owen - Collected Poems
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone
J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye
Anna Sewell - Black Beauty
Fiona Snelson - The NSPCC Book Of Famous Faux Pas
Voltaire - Candide

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