TS recalls several readers getting excited on our letters page last year debating whether there were any works of fiction set against the racy back drop of accountancy. Our dedicated letter writers were baffled that novelists steer clear of the glamour of number crunching. Obviously they hadn’t come across John Lanchester’s Mr Phillips. Double entry bookkeeping and accounting standards don’t make stimulating reading, and thankfully, Lanchester steers well clear. Out of work and not big enough to tell his family, Mr Phillips keeps up his now pointless, commute to London. The narrative follows his ‘adventures’. Believe it or not this turns into a rather amusing, but quite sad, insight into a dull man who hits rock bottom. Couldn’t happen to an accountant, could it?