A novel by Spike Evans.

Actor (noun). One who acts. A stage or screen player; a professional deceiver, equally capable of deluding both himself
and an audience. Frequently to be found ‘resting’, seldom solvent, relying on charm, guile and – if push comes to
shove – the occasional day job to fend off the more unreasonable demands of his many creditors.

Apeman (noun, partial acronym). Alternative Provider of Education. An itinerant teacher, paid to employ guerilla tactics in order
to educate children beyond the reach of the school system. Often to be found in children’s homes, hospitals,
libraries or adolescent psychiatric units. Or in the pub, when the little dears don’t turn up.

No one can accuse Lenny Jones of being an overnight success. A decade since finishing drama school, his career highlight remains a three-second walk-on in a Cillit Bang commercial – a triumph he shows little sign of reprising. Now approaching thirty, Lenny finds himself confronting some unpalatable truths. His looks are fading, he owes six months’ rent to a particularly belligerent landlord, and he’s yet to find a millionaire heiress he feels he could really settle down with (or, indeed, any woman prepared to overlook his more glaring personal defects).

Fate seems to throw him a lifeline, however, when a long-neglected teaching qualification leads to a temporary contract as an Apeman. Although initially reluctant to sacrifice his artistic principles for a mere day job, the gig seems too good to be true. The pay’s generous, the hours are flexible, and the perks include a stunningly attractive teaching assistant called Alice. Best of all, Apemen only have to tutor the kids who want to be taught. The way Lenny sees it, all he has to do is systematically alienate every name on his client list, and he’ll be free to spend his entire working week in the pub.

For a while, everything looks rosy. But just as Lenny is acclimatising himself to a gruelling schedule of daytime TV and three-hour lunch breaks, his fortunes take another unexpected twist. Out of the blue, Lenny is invited to try out for a role in a major Hollywood movie. If he gets the part, it’ll make all his professional dreams come true (as well as some not-so-professional dreams involving the film’s female star). But he’s slowly starting to understand the true meaning of being an Apeman and, as the audition process begins consuming more and more of his time, it becomes clear that even the tenacious Lenny Jones can’t meet the competing demands of two identities, two jobs and two leading ladies. Something’s clearly got to give, and when Lenny’s unteachables start taking on the leading role in his life, he discovers that the choices he makes will have consequences more far-reaching than he can possibly foresee...

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