I’ve had mendacity on my mind this week. That brings me to Keith Waterhouse’s Billy Liar. Billy is a British “post-war babe” fantasist. He’s Walter Mitty for his time and place. Like Mitty, he’s more benign than the Trump Tower liar.
Billy Liar was a huge success when it came out in 1959 and remains in print to this very day. Below are two paperback editions:
Quite naturally, the book was adapted for the stage. The original West End production starred the great Albert Finney as Billy.
The 1963 film version of Billy Liar was helmed by John Schlesinger who later won an Oscar for Midnight Cowboy. Finney was otherwise engaged so Tom Courtenay played Billy. It’s a must-see movie classic.
The property had legs as it was made into a Teevee series and the West End musical, Billy.
Here’s the trailer:
Finally, Billy Liar has provided the inspiration for some pretty darn good rock bands.