A Film by Spencer Ludwig, 4th Estate, 2010

‘A joy to read.’
Deborah Orr, Guardian

‘A tender dialogue between parents and children... it has the mark of great fiction: it feels like it has existed forever.’
Julie Myerson, Observer books of the year

‘A novel as a road movie... Treads the fine line between comedy and tragedy with considerable wit and skill.’
Mail on Sunday



Chapter 1

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Spencer Ludwig, film-maker, arrives at his father’s apartment somewhat out of sorts.
He dawdles at the threshold. Blue carpet, brown walls, black door, he looks for something that will strengthen him against the inevitable onslaught of his father’s and stepmother’s world. If he had a camera with him, he would use it––extreme close-up: the carpet, his sneakers, the apartment door. Before pressing the bell he would whisper, and he does, Here goes.
Spencer has become a frequent visitor to his father’s apartment. He has made this journeytube from Stockwell to Heathrow, plane to JFK, subway to 50th Streetfour times already this year, arriving, like this, encumbered by luggage and laptop, sticky and half dazed. His father, the idol and enemy of Spencer’s youth, is eighty-six years old and in failing health.
‘Here goes,’ he repeats.