Brilliant.This reviewer says it well, better than I can:At times Justin Cartwright's narrative seems filigreed with ideas and ironies; at other times it seems concerned, quite simply, with one man who learns that his version of what goes on is certainly faulty.Love the way Cartwright's mind works, love the way he puts it into words.Always questioning versions of reality, always poking fun at modern certainties, always funny, always unpeeling characters to get to their core, always contextualising people and what they do and say and think in the context of where they come from and where they are going to (old world versus new) Always with every word in place, to my sensibilities anyway, never too much, never too little Ans words that resonate with meaning.He lost one star because of the beginning Dont think that was constructed well. I liked it a lot but it's hard to get away from the fact that it was published 20 years ago and has not aged well, mostly because of the how the internet has transformed our ways of communicating (Yes this was a charity shop find I wouldn't have read it otherwise) These days Dan Silas and his old school friends would all be in touch on facebook so large elements of the plot would be rendered redundant How the world has changed as 1998 doesn't seem that long ago really That said there are a couple of extremely salient and current themes in the book, regarding middle America and an insightful precursor the the #metoo movement. Typically Cartwrightian in style (the main character is in conversation with himself really muchthan with the people around him), but atypical in subject matter: America, high school reunions, American Indian history. Justin Cartwright is a really good author (he gave us White Lightning which I absolutely loved!) and the book 'Leading the Cheers' reflects his really good style But the book itself was merely ok Middle aged men seem to be Cartwright's specialty and he captures the many thoughts of a successful person, now left without a steady job The book revolves around a class reunion and told from the perspective of Dan Silas a marketing guy, who left the US to relocate to the UK He comes back to a host of people who seem to have never left the tiny town There's an old girlfriend who he might or might not have impregnated, a murderer who he visits, his old friend who thinks he is Pale eagle, a reincarnated Indian. there are several interesting characters and frankly if this was a short story stitched together, might have been a lot better. I’ve read a couple of Justin Cartwright books and enjoyed them, particularly ‘The Promise of Happiness’, despite it being recommended by Richard and Judy’s book club The storyline to this book, about a British man returning to the US for a high school reunion, is both familiar and yet slightly implausible, given that his school sweetheart claims that her murdered daughter was also his, and his best mate has gone into some sort of periodic psychosis whereby he believes he is a native American And yet it sort of works It’s very readable, partly because the book moves along at a good pace And yet our narrator is always a bit distant, which makes the story feel slightly distant too There’s a conscious lack of urgency, which Cartwright only just manages to rescue by his ability to write nice, fluid prose, but it never really stirs the soul. I somewhat generously gave this novel three stars because the author is undoubtedly talented and capable of passages of startling brilliance, however the plot becomes simultaneouslyponderous and preposterous as the novel draws on The whole episode of the ´liberation´of the artifacts from the depository in London certainly stretched my credibility as did the narrator´s motives for such a foolhardy venture Perhaps he was attempting to assuage his own guilt at having made a relative success of his life while the former schoolmates he had left behind were suffocating in the mundanity of life in a nondescript part of America The aspect of the native Indians could have been fascinating, and is a subject I would like to learn a lotabout, but here was usedas an adjunct to the characterisation of the disturbed Gary and a subplot rather than the guts of the work The narrator is typically flawed and frustrating in his naivety, lied to and exploited by his socalled friends, most heinously by the manipulative Gloria, whose perfidy knows no bounds.Nevertheless, I largely enjoyed the book and will give this particular author another opportunity to impress. I found this book quiet a struggle to start and tho it wasn't awful, I found the book managed to make an intresting plot quiet dull I only really warmed to two of the characters: Stephanie becuase I would bet money on that being me in a few years time which is very depressing and Gary becuase even tho he was crazy he seemed loveable After Dan Silas's advertising company is bought out, his invitation to his thirtyyear high school reunion arrives with perfect timing, and he leaves London to return to the small Michigan town he has not seen since With wit, humor, and compassion, Whitbread Awardwinner and Booker Prizenominee Justin Cartwright takes Dan through the mounting stages of both culture shock and midlife crisis Back in Michigan, he discovers his best friend now believes he is a reincarnated Shawnee Indian and his high school sweetheart claims she had a daughter by himwho has just been murdered by the Hollybush's new celebrity, a smalltown serial killer With brilliantly evoked characters and crackling dialogue, Leading the Cheers comically explores what people want out of lifeand what they get instead This was a excellent book I have recently discovered this writer and am trying to read all his books I find him to have a strong hold on what makes us human His writing stays in my head long after I have finished the page quote from this book: The burden (of being human)is the belief that we are meant to bethan what we find. Still thinking about the book and the narrator's 'small migration,' the meaning of memory both individual and collective The book jacket describes the book as witty and hilarious Wonder if we read the same book?