The setting is North London, the time- now. Laurence is a damaged character with several neuroses. He has written a book- Return to Valhalla-but such is his fear of engaging in the publishing circus he cannot bring himself to submit it. He has a good friend, James whose hobby is amateur dramatics. Laurence sees James in a production of The Mikado and begins to see a possible solution. He persuades James, in his Japanese persona, to impersonate him as the author, believing that the book from a ‘foreign’ writer stands a better chance of acceptance.
It is accepted, James attends meetings with the publishers only to find that their marketing director is Japanese. This leads to a number of complications. Laurence, following a meeting with Ukoyo Mangeshi (Ukky), the Japanese marketing director, decides to ‘come clean’. He also finally agrees to live with Sophie his long term girlfriend in her windmill, Living in a calm environment and with the help of Colin, a sounding board for his anxieties, he comes to terms with the challenges that publication will present him with.
The author uses Laurence to tilt at the ugliness of our present society, the attitude of some publishers towards new authors and various other personal dislikes. Laurence loves polysyllabic words and overuses figures of speech such as alliteration. The author hopes that this literary device, although it makes Laurence appear to be pompous is recognised as simply a cover for his many insecurities. The author also hopes that this device will add to the humour.