“So,” said Roberts, smiling keenly, “What did you think?”
David sat for a moment and considered his reply. Eventually he said, “It’s… different.”
“It’s very well written. Deep. Meaningful. At times frightening, as though you were staring right into the very heart of the human condition. Right into my heart, actually. It left quite an impression.”
“Really?” said Roberts.
They sat in silence for a moment.
“The only problem,” David eventually added, “Is that… well, it’s not your usual thing, is it?”
“No,” said Roberts. “Definitely not.”
“We’re used to getting comedy from you. Witty dialogue, biting satire, that sort of thing. This new novel is unerringly bleak.”
“I had my assistant read it. He didn’t come into the office for four days afterwards. Turns out he committed suicide shortly after finishing the thing.”
“Oh dear,” said Roberts, slumping into his chair.
Eventually, he added: “He didn’t happen to tell you beforehand whether or not he liked it, did he?”