Simon Gray is determined to give up smoking. Really. At last. Can he kick the habit of 60 years? Will he, sometime soon, be able to leave his house without nervously feeling for his two packets of twenty and his two lighters, and add no more singes to his cardigan? As this wonderful, wayward record of Gray's life progresses, these questions are overtaken by much larger ones. What is that lady on the plane to Athens doing with her nose? What was sex like before 1963? Will his name be in lights on Broadway? Why did he leave the bedside of his dying mother? With their combination of comedy and serious reflection, of sharp observation and painful self-disclosure, Simon Gray's diaries have reinvented the memoir form and are destined to become classics of autobiography.