The perils and pleasures that attends growing up. In ‘A Handful of Nuts’, the first of the novellas in this book, the reader is treated to vintage Bond—a gloriously funny and unexpectedly tender story of being young and adventurous in small town India. The central character would like to establish himself as a writer but he is constantly diverted from his task by assorted escapades, romances, friends and other distractions. Containing some of Bond’s finest writing it is a classic coming of age story, told in a fresh and compelling way. ‘The Sensualist’, the second novella, is altogether more sombre but deals with a similar theme—the trials and tribulations of a young man are coming of age. Gripping, erotic, even brutal, it explores the demons that its protagonist must grapple with before he is able to come to terms with himself.