Obsessed with sex, increasingly cocaine-fuelled and gripped by a crippling fear of death, Professor Michael Cole finds his life spinning out of control. He’s supposed to be writing the definitive biography of his literary hero, John Donne, yet barely manages a few hundred words a week. He knows he really shouldn’t seduce his prettier female students but he can’t stop. And the failure of a colleague to succumb to his waning charms is a challenge he could well do without. Throw in a fight for promotion, a wife to lie to and two small children to look after and it’s no wonder his blood pressure has soared to life-threatening heights. But Michael is a creature of habit and old habits die hard. It’s only when he’s caught in the act of adultery by his grandmother that he sees the writing on the wall. After all, she’s been dead for twenty-five years . . .

Funny, compelling and truthful, While the Sun Shines confirms John Harding as a wonderfully shrewd and provocative chronicler of the human condition.

‘Very funny in a straightforward, joyful and relaxed way, full of exuberant sentences and lovely set pieces. Full of penetrating moments. Harding’s ability to switch smoothly from comedy to pathos is truly memorable. The ending is stunning, both unexpected and inevitable.’
Daily Express

‘A refreshingly funny and affectionate university novel’
The Guardian

‘Recalls (Philip) Roth and the films and fiction of Woody Allen . . . very funny, its tone is ironic and affectionate and there are moments of appalling tenderness that will give you a lump in your throat.’
The Guardian

‘Harding’s humour is close to hysteria, the tears are never far away, and the novel is that rare thing – painfully funny.’
Daily Mail

‘A subtle and skilful writer . . . a worthy successor to the likes of The History Man, Lucky Jim and Porterhouse Blue.’
Time Out

‘Harding is wonderfully wise about the human predicament but has a special weakness for menopausal men with their twin obsessions of sex and death.’
Best Holiday Books, Daily Mail

‘Donne’s poetry and spirit are scattered throughout the book, which somehow manages to end up lauding its shambling, decadent, unfaithful protagonist. But the story is a tender one and wonders about mortality and morality in a gentle way despite the hyperactivity of Professor Cole’s heart, mind and soul.’
The Times

‘This is a provocative exploration of the human condition, bursting with insight and wry wit as our protagonist deepens his rut of self-obsession and self-delusion.’
The Irish Times

A brilliantly written blend of comedy and tragedy.’
Sunday Mirror

‘Dad Lit not Lad Lit, but still a hoot.’
Daily Mirror

‘Harding can certainly write. He has an infectious style, some great comic moments, a touch of the unexpected and a feel for character and family. If folk are looking for someone new to chuckle over, empathise with and thoroughly enjoy, they can’t go wrong with this.’
The Bookseller

‘A witty novel about growing old disgracefully. Wild and wacky.’
Hello Magazine

‘From the author of the poignant, hilarious What We Did On Our Holiday comes this wonderful novel concerning a beleaguered professor with a rampant libido, a mid-life crisis and endless family problems. Very funny about fatherhood.’
Woman and Home

‘Michael Cole is charging headlong into the kind of proper midlife crisis that you just don’t see enough of since Tony Parsons and his ilk started making it trendy. Good book.’

‘Is there life after death? How can we go on living in the shadow of our own annihilation? And how much food should you order for a meal out with three dead people? Just some of the questions asked in this wonderfully funny novel.’
Belfast Telegraph

‘It’s impossible not to love this hilarious and poignant tale.’
Shields Gazette

‘Guaranteed to get you laughing out loud.’
Northern Echo

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