What happens when a man, dazzled like most of us by hi-tech, happy to have his suits made by robots in New York, sets out to find the meaning of life?
John-Paul Flintoff's improbable and very funny book charts a journey through call centres and allotments, rat-catching and Savile Row tailors, to some kind of enlightenment. It is also a book about a man who learns how to crochet – and how you might too.
John-Paul Flintoff is a bit of a one-off: a man who embarks on a spiritual pilgrimage by outsourcing his life to Bangalore, then hooks up with Mormons and Buddhists (well, Richard Gere), on a quest for truth and fulfilment. His journey is like a twenty-first century Candide, learning that life's satisfactions, and some kind of response to the concerns of economic meltdown and climate change, lie in learning how to make things for oneself, and mending things that fall apart.
Along the way, Flintoff paints pictures with Brit-art oddball Billy Childish, gets apprenticed in Savile Row, grows his own food and spins fibre from nettles. Daringly, he also turns his book over to his wife Harriet, who likes nothing better than a fancy spa and a shop at Liberty's.
The results are comic, heartwarming and inspiring.