One warm July morning Mr Phillips climbs out of bed, leaving Mrs Phillips dozing. He prepares for his commute into the city - but this is no ordinary Wednesday. It is a day on which Mr Phillips will chat with a pornographer, stalk a tv mini-celebrity, have lunch with an aspiring record mogul, and get caught up in a bank robbery. It is, as Mr Phillips comes to realise, the first day of the rest of his life - whether he wants it to be or not. All this is both better and worse than being at work.
So why is Mr Phillips, a cautious middle-aged accountant, not behind his desk calculating the financial consequences of redundancies or recommending the savings to be made from more responsible use of yellow sticky note pads?
John Lanchester was born in Hamburg in 1962. He has written four novels, The Debt to Pleasure, Mr Phillips, Fragrant Harbour, and Capital, and two works of non-fiction: Family Romance, a memoir; and Whoops!: Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay. His books have won the Hawthornden Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Prize, E.M Forster Award, and the Premi Llibreter, been longlisted for the Booker Prize, and been translated into twenty-five languages. He is married, has two children and lives in London.