All Dr John Goode asks is for a little house in north London where people read "The Paper" and speaking decent English doesn't get his kids kicked. Though spending 1984-89 studying East Germany was possibly a mistake, surely fifteen years of solid lecturing has earned John Goode (PhD) the right to such a modestly normal life. But while planting a plum tree in his little south-London garden, Goode finds a long-buried assault rifle. Before he has time to think, he is sent staggering from the Red Lion in Peckham to Prague to Dresden. He finds that Europe, liberalism and the ice caps are all melting down faster than his inhibitions: normal is gone with the wind and cultivating one's own garden these days needs more than just a spade.And if the world won't keep to the bargain he made in 1984, maybe John Goode, Doctor of Philosophy, has just found a tool to renegotiate the deal...Set in the world that he has made his own - that of middle-class Englishmen struggling with the mortgage, low self-esteem and dreams of sash windows - this is Hawes at his sharpest and funniest.