Keith Waterhouse's comic masterpiece Billy Liar (1959) introduced us to Billy Fisher, a seventeen-year-old undertaker's clerk whose inability to tell the truth led him into constant (and often hilarious) trouble with his parents, his employer, and his three girlfriends. It was a smash success, becoming a bestseller and winning widespread acclaim for both the novel and the classic film adaptation.
In this 1975 sequel, Billy is thirty-three but still hasn't grown out of his propensity for lying. Stuck in a loveless marriage in a dismal town, where he has a dead-end job in local government, Billy seeks escape through his affair with Helen, who is also unhappily married. But once again he finds himself in danger of being undone by his lies: vodka martinis charged to his expense account, a wise-cracking alter ego named Oscar, a false police report about a stolen set of nonexistent golf clubs, an imaginary cat named 'Mr Pussy-paws' . . . Now the all-important town festival is approaching, but instead of doing the planning, Billy is busy trying to keep ahead of the suspicions of his wife, the police, and Helen's jealous husband.
Published in 1977