Two friends grow up in a North London Jewish suburb. Jack is thick and devious and gets expelled from school. David is bright and parent-pleasing and destined for great things. But it's Jack who gets rich and famous as a TV chat-show host, while David earns peanuts working in a Suffolk bookshop and writing the odd radio play.
When Jack dies in his swimming pool, aged forty-nine, his widow and publisher commission David to write Jack's authorised biography. David is a gentle, discreet man who can be relied on not to dish the dirt about Jack. Or his widow. Or his publisher. David will write what they want - something nice and bland. But David can't do it. He writes Seeds of Greatness instead. It's the truth about his forty-year friendship with Jack, the man who came to dominate his life. It's a study of why he failed and Jack succeeded. It's got sex and drugs and blackmail and jealousy and deceit. It will never be published.
David thinks that by writing the truth he'll get Jack out of his system. But he finds he'll never be free of Jack. Jack will be with him for as long as he lives.
Jon Canter has perfect pitch. 'Seeds Of Greatness' is as funny a novel as you'll ever read.