The book was Tissues for Men, a collection of Alan Coren's newspaper columns, and it was one of the funniest things I had ever read. (He was also spot on in his description of his son's gerbils.)
Coren's delivery, his vocabulary and his talent for pastiche impressed me enormously and had a huge influence on my own writing style; it became my ambition to write as well and as hilariously as he did. Over the years I've often meant to write and tell him so.
Now I'll never have the chance.