Ethan Grout realises it's his twenty-seventh birthday when he receives a card from the fitness centre he recently quit. He's also just quit the no-hoper job he's held for ten years, a week before his father Markus's funeral. Markus's last words of advice had been: 'Ethan live it, buddy - live your life.' How difficult can that be? His dad had worked in film and travelled the world, which meant that, as a child, Ethan roamed an empty house in the suburbs, pretending a family surrounded him. Now, Ethan's home is a tiny room above a busy city bar. It feels good to come home to a place with so much life in it; the buzz and lights of downstairs and the street sooth Ethan to sleep far better than silence ever could. With a new life awaiting him, but with no specific plan, Ethan takes a new job and then another, and even another, on the lookout for anything that might stick. Along the way he creates his own gang of misfits: from Joy, who became his step-mother just a month before his father died; to her super-model son Travis, an innocent in a vacuous business; to the mercurial Alejandra who makes Ethan's first and then his last new job almost bearable. A bittersweet novel, Ethan Grout portrays the life of a young man who collects a life as he goes, creating his own kind of community when being alone just won't do any more.