Spare a thought for the white van man. It’s not yet nine on a summer’s morning and already Joseph, a plumber and the hero of James Clammer’s arresting novel, is having a pig of a day.
He’s slept poorly. It’s the umpteenth day of a heat wave, and the biscuits left by his client Amanda Margaret Hollander are ‘a dispiriting selection, childish and sugary... unmanly biscuits’. Plus, despite her tight, ‘iridescent’ trousers, Amanda Margaret seems uninterested in a ‘little dallying, a little flirting’ and dashes off, leaving him to the job. Which, it transpires, is far more difficult than promised: ‘Truly, if it isn’t one thing it’s the other.’
For the rest of Insignificance, we follow Joseph as this breathless day crests into endless, greenish night.