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The Fit by Philip Hensher
The Fit refers to long bout of hiccups suffered by the protagonist of Philip Hensher's novel, John Carrington, when he finds out his wife has left him. John is a professional indexer, and his life is as boring and repetitive as his indices. He takes to drinking, smoking, and drugs thinking they'll cure his hiccups, but he's a social misfit mystified by much of the world. His wife calls to check on him, claiming to be in a different city farther away each time, but John misunderstands her reasons for leaving him. John does remember a murdered sister, whose death paralyzed his family with indecision, and it's this haunting memory that seems to drive his life. The Fit has received mixed reviews with the Telegraph saying, "But then it is hard to read this novel as a whole. Playful, perceptive, and guaranteed to keep the reader's mind on its toes, The Fit reads more like the literary equivalent of a mistake at the jigsaw-puzzle factory. Each piece is perfect in itself; they just don't fit together very well."