In his heyday, during the 1960s and early 1970s, B. S. Johnson was one of the best-known novelists in Britain. A passionate advocate for the avant-garde, he became famous for his forthright views on the future of the novel and for his unique ways of putting them into practice. Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry, the last novel to be published in his lifetime, is his funniest.
Christie Malry is a simple man. As a young accounts clerk at a confectionery factory in London he learns the principles of Double-Entry Bookkeeping. Frustrated by the petty injustices that beset his life – particularly those caused by the behaviour of authority figures – he determines a unique way to settle his grievances: a system of moral double-entry bookkeeping. So, for every offence society commits against him, Christie exacts recompense. ‘Every Debit must have its Credit, the First Golden Rule’ of the system. All accounts are to be settled, and they are – in the most alarming way.