Black Books centres around the foul-tempered and wildly eccentric bookshop owner Bernard Black. Bernard’s devotion to the twin pleasures of drunkenness and wilful antagonism deepens and enriches both his lift and that of Manny, his assistant. Bearded, gentle, sweet and good, Manny is everything that Bernard isn’t and is punished by Bernard relentlessly just by the crime of existing. They depend on each other for meaning as Fran, their oldest friend, depends on them for distraction. Black Books is a haven of books, wine and conversation.