Novels that mention the LRB, an occasional series: no.17, The Afterparty by Leo Benedictus. William Mendez, the ever more evasive and ever less sane writer of a novel within the novel, is looking for someone else to pose as its author. His agent suggests a journalist called Leo Benedictus. Mendez replies, by email:

Leo sounds perfect! I’m actually punching the air with my left hand and typing this with my right. (A tough trick. Try it.) I’ve had a look at his stuff online... He’s a different type of writer from me, in some ways, but not too different to be believed. I see he’s done stuff for the London Review of Books too, which can only help, can’t it?