Reading the Sauce Bottle
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This is a short comic novel. It is the story of Barratt, our dope smoking anti-hero, who intends to escape poverty and the squalor of his seedy Brixton bedsit by re-inventing himself as a successful mover and shaker in order to impress the formidably snobbish, but very rich, Great Aunt Sarah. His adventures are hilarious as he tries to keep all the balls in the air More
It's London in the 1980's; 'the urban jungle' and Barratt is somewhere near the bottom of the food chain. He's unemployed, skint and has no prospects. He lives in a squalid bedsit in Brixton where he spends his days fruitlessly scheming ways of making money. He has two principal pleasures in life: smoking dope, when he can afford it, and sex, although this is invariably a solitary affair.
Then one day, during his musings, he remembers Aunt Sarah and she's old and rich, very rich. However, there is a big problem – Aunt Sarah is an inveterate snob, who has completely severed all contact with the lowly Barratt clan. Barratt creates an alter ego to inveigle this elderly woman into believing that he is successful, urbane, artistic and cultured in order to get his mitts on her money. There are, however, many barriers to cross if he is to be successful, apart from Barratt's unprepossessing physical appearance and unattractive personality: he has no money and he owes George, an emotionally unstable Jamaican drug dealer; to default would not be an intelligent option, and the venomous Mrs Haggett, Aunt Sarah's housekeeper, who 'has got his number' and will do anything in order to stymy his plans. In pursuit of his goal, Barratt is forced to weave an ever more intricate web of deceit . There are excruciatingly awkward dinners with Aunt Sarah and her supercilious acquaintances, conflict with a group of Hari Krishna disciples and an unpleasant encounter with a former colleague who had stitched him up and lost him his job. But, once he had boarded the train of deception, there was no getting off...