Funny, intriguing, lyrical and ultimately moving, this entertaining and insightful novel from one of this country?s best writers both skewers and celebrates small town New Zealand.Pat `Pearly' Gates has achieved a lot in his life and evinces considerable satisfaction in his achievements. He has a reputation as a former Otago rugby player and believes he would have been an All Black but for sporting injuries. He runs a successful real-estate agency in a provincial South Island town, of which he is the second-term mayor. Popular, happily married, well established, he cuts an impressive figure, especially in his own eyes. But will his pride and complacency come before a fall? And if so, how will that come about?