A new memoir by Gilbert Tudor is causing a sensation among downtrodden, rapidly ageing men around the world who are being inspired by the way Tudor’s journey of self-discovery saw him escape a life of drudgery with a miserable job and stale relationship, through cheating at work and on his partner, preying on any woman he meets under 25, and ultimately reaching a state of enlightenment that enables him, in the words of the book, ‘to arse about all day, not really doing anything’.
‘It was an emotional voyage that really rang bells for me, and makes you think of a new world of possibilities in your life,’ claimed Phil Steadman, a 37-year-old middle manager from Woking, who is just one of the many everyday husbands and fathers to feel an emotional connection to Tudor. ‘When he said to the missus that he was going on a Buddhist yoga retreat in Bali, but actually went to Bangkok on a stag do…I don’t mind saying that when reading how he learned you can get to know what another person is really like inside, there was a tear in my eye. Well, the description made my eyes water, anyway.’
As well as being a talking point among men in pubs and offices across the country, the bestseller is having an effect on home life too. ‘He keeps wanting to read parts of it out loud to me, about how Gilbert spent two months living on nothing but Indian takeaways, and saying he’d love to do that himself one day,’ explained Steadman’s wife Rachel, ‘But this always happens when I come back from my book group and he’s had the lads around to watch the Champions’ League. They get some daft idea in their head because of something one of them’s read but it never comes to anything. As long as it doesn’t interfere with us girls’ plans for knitting our own outfits for a group trip climbing Everest, I don’t mind really’.
Already touching lives among its millions of readers, the book’s influence is to become even more widespread when it is adapted to become a major Hollywood blockbuster. The uplifting story of a man who gets everything he wants in life despite having no discernible talent or redeeming features is set to hit cinema screens around the world next summer, starring Ricky Gervais.