Take a bunch of weird people in wonderful places, add some detective work, then weave them together with nostalgic commentary – and you end up with five entertaining quests written as comic essays, about characters who were momentarily famous and then disappeared. Unmet or briefly met, among them is the recluse who inspired Evelyn Waugh's character Sebastian Flyte in 'Brideshead Revisited', also a German artist who buys an island in the Hebrides, then vanishes never to be seen again. Fallowell's take on the death, and ultimate 'disappearance' of Princess Diana, who overcame her misfit persona, closes the book with a moving tribute.
Fallowell has been described as a never-heard of author, but once discovered, gained a legion of fans looking for more of his work. He won the 2012 PEN/Ackerley Prize for this book.