Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse (Downloadable audio ISBN 9781907416019) book cover

Available as Downloadable audio

Comic story of youth, frustration and escapism in 1950s Yorkshire on the eve of the swinging Sixties.

For William ‘Billy’ Fisher, an energetic imagination makes life tolerable, but well-nigh intolerable for all around him. He lies his way into and out of every situation, making any promise to get him out of trouble, thereby creating ever more tortuous entanglements to be wriggled out of in the future.

Billy dreams of escaping the dull drudgery of his life at home with his parents and grandmother in the monotony of his stifling Yorkshire hometown. He has three fiancees and a truly dead-end job as an undertaker’s clerk, but dreams of becoming a writer for a comedian ad escaping his everyday life. Unable to separate fantasy from reality, Billy becomes embroiled in a mess no lie will eradicate; the web of deceit will bring many a chuckle to listeners, but will the outcome of his mistruths be quite as funny to billy?

Quasi-comic, this novel has enjoyed many interpretations, as a film, play, musical, TV series and now, an unabridged audiobook.

John Simms is a well-loved British actor, who is well known for his TV roles including those of detective Sam Tyler in the series Life on Mars and The Master in Doctor Who.


“Flawless…this reading of Waterhouse’s witty and compassionate writing has the edge even on the iconic 1963 film.”
independent On Sunday

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“Astonishing…like the novel, Simm sparkles in surprising ways.”
time Out


Keith Waterhouse

Keith Waterhouse (1929-2009) was a British novelist, journalist and writer for television series.