When advertising maverick Farren Mortimer sets up AMOLAD to bring the funeral business into the 21st century his ideas capture the public’s attention as he cashes in on the new zeitgeist of conspicuous public mourning. Appointed as the government’s ‘bereavement czar’ it looks as if Mortimer can’t put a foot wrong as he single-handedly puts the ‘fun’ into funerals.
But commercialising death isn’t without its problems; not everybody gives ‘Mr Eulogy’ and his slick marketing techniques their blessing. But who wants to bury Mortimer the most? Is it the anarchist graffiti street artist who has made AMOLAD a particular target for his ire? The self-seeking road safety campaigner with designs on Mortimer as well as his money? The award-seeking journalist who smells a BAFTA? Or someone much closer to home? As the government’s inaugural ‘People’s Remembrance Day’ bank holiday date approaches, will it be redemption or requiem for Mortimer? A Matter of Life and Death is an intelligent, humorous and fast-moving exploration of values and motives in today’s reality TV age: society’s ‘mourning sickness’, the power of marketing, media cynicism, anonymity as fame and the influence of Twitter.
A Matter of Life and Death, where each chapter is headed with a song that could be played at a funeral, will appeal to adult fiction readers and fans of satire and black comedy – it picks up where Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One left off.