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The story starts before WWII and lead into the 1960s as Johnathan Landau, our narrator and protagonist recounts his early life. Born with a physical defect which makes speech all but impossible, a defect which with surgery and therapy he eventually and triumphantly overcomes, his early years are beset by problems. Born of caring but distant wealthy Jewish parents, and the target of ridicule and bullying due to his disability, his saviour comes in the form of Andrew, a black man taken on to the Landau's domestic staff.Johnathan, nicknamed Cricket by Andrew, leads us through his life, his loves, and his successes (there are few failures), and through events that will shape Jonathan as he becomes a young man; all the while searching for his best friend Andrew.While Cricket (nothing to do with the game but from the insect) makes for a satisfying read, it never completely convinces. There are a number of similarities here with Lande's novel The Life and Times of Homer Sincere, and the protagonists of both share many similarities with Lande himself (education, career . . .), and while reading it is hard to separate the fictional character from the author. One cannot help but feel that Lane is indulging himself in recreating his own life in both of these novels. Maybe his fellow countrymen have less of a problem with this than an Englishman who by culture finds a self-effacing approach more appealing.It is however well written, and the author is no doubt on safe ground by sticking close to what he knows.