I was anxious to escape because one of the guests was one of those people you wish ever to see again in your life, but who always shows up. The last time I met this pustule, whom I shall call "Damian", it was at the last dinner party I went to, which was about 15 years ago. Having endured him at both big and little schools for over a decade, I had wearied of him before he started becoming the Person Who Pops Up Every Few Years and Makes You Think You're Living in a Novel Sequence by Anthony Powell. Fate has a nasty sense of humour sometimes.
Nicholas Lezard, The New Statesman, 25/07/2012
Contributed by Jeff Manley