'Punctuation killed my wife.’ So opens Christopher Meredith’s novel, Please.
Octogenarian Vernon, who’s never written anything longer than a memo, tries to write the story of his apparently unremarkable courtship and marriage from the 1960s to today. How should he do it? His lifelong obsessions are language and reading; most of what he knows about the world comes from dictionaries and reference books, and from these and the language of old novels he concocts and wrestles with his ‘voice’. From beneath Vernon’s comically elegant struggles and games with language a picture emerges of a man and woman across half a century, of how passion, infidelities, murderous fantasy and obsessions can be undercurrents even in the most ordinary of lives.