Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling.
Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar was published in 1959, and captures brilliantly the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small town. It tells the story of Billy Fisher, a Yorkshire teenager unable to stop lying - especially to his three girlfriends. Trapped by his boring job and working-class parents, Billy finds that his only happiness lies in grand plans for his future and fantastical day-dreams of the fictional country Ambrosia.
Keith Waterhouse was born in Leeds in 1929. He has written extensively for film, tv and newspapers, and his play Jeffrey Barnard is Unwell was a West End hit in the 1990s. Billy Liar is his most famous book, and was an equally famous film, directed by John Schlesinger, starring Tom Courtenay. He died in 2009.