This is the true story of Irving Tucker, who married an English girl, Yvonne, and left South Africa in 1976 to farm sheep on the Welsh border, growing their own organic vegetables and living a healthy life style. They returned to South Africa every year on holiday.
The couple was childless.
The book deals with Irving's complex personality and his love of practical jokes, and traces the relationship between him and the writer over the period 1961-2011. The death of Yvonne in 2010 is the primary reason why Irving announces to his friends that he is going to kill himself; this despite the fact that he is healthy, relatively young and has recently sold a piece of art for over £1 million.
For two years following Yvonne's death, his friends attempt to dissuade him from committing suicide, never sure whether it is a cry for help, an attempt to get attention, another practical joke or a serious threat. He sponsors an elephant-collaring in the bush and invites a group of friends to join him for this last African adventure.
Around the campfire at night, he and his friends openly discuss his plans. The polarized reactions of Tucker's confidants range from vehement denial to vehement support, as he advises them that his suicide date is rapidly approaching. In January 2011 he returns home to England, his deadline the end of February.
Irving Tucker is a complex character with great attributes and glaring faults. This is a story of love, friendship and caring, of laughter, fun, sadness and tragedy. It is the story of a man determined to leave this world at a time of his choosing.
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