Kitchenly 434 (Hardback)Alan Warner (author)
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Richly comic yet possessed of an elegiac yearning for simpler times, Warner’s tale of a narcissistic rock star, his dutiful butler and a pair of impressionable female fans expertly captures the delusion and disorder of ‘getting it together in the country.’
'One of our finest writers' Michael Moorcock
'Alan Warner is one of our best living writers' Jenni Fagan
It's the late 70s: the country is on the cusp of the arrival of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister, and Marko Morrell, guitarist in Fear Taker, is one of the biggest rock stars on the planet. His 'demanding' lifestyle means he is frequently in absentia at Kitchenly Mill Race, his idyllic country retreat; and so it is his butler (or 'help'), Crofton Park, who is charged with the maintenance and housekeeping of the rambling Tudorbethan gaff.
When, one day, two young girls arrive looking for Marko clutching their copies of Fear Taker LPs, Crofton finds himself on a romantic misadventure involving a soiled carpet, a bed of roses, a classic car and a fine pair of stockings. All of which leads to the tragi-comic unravelling of the fantasies he has been living by.
A novel about delusional male behaviour, opening and closing curtains, (a lack of) self-awareness, loneliness and 'getting it together in the country', Kitchenly 434 is a magnificent novel about the Golden Age of Rock in the bucolic English countryside.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 586 g
Dimensions: 238 x 164 x 34 mm
Alan Warner is one of our best living writers, six years since his last novel came out and KITCHENLY 434 has the kind of pin-point precision in prose that has an hallucinatory realness to its ways. Stunning.' -- Jenni Fagan
Set in an electric Eden of an England that briefly allowed guitar heroes to reinvent themselves as aristocrats almost overnight, Kitchenly 434 is as absurd, beguiling, ridiculous, excessive and comical as the pompous rock stars of the 1970s whose planets this unique novel orbits, and the likes of which we may never see again. Few novels about not much have ever been quite so compelling -- Benjamin Myers
A delightfully comic tale -- Martin Chilton * INDEPENDENT *
A compulsively enjoyable tale centred on the 1970s rock scene...stealthily comic...as well as deeply poignant -- Jude Cook * LITERARY REVIEW *
Part farce, part elegy, part tragi-comically belated coming-of-age story, this is a pleasure from beginning to end -- Stephanie Cross * DAILY MAIL *
Kitchenly 434 is a biting, relentless and subtle deconstruction of a particularly English sensibility and a particularly masculine delusion. As funny as it is disturbing, this is Warner on top form -- Katie Goh * THE SKINNY *
Warner's work has always been intriguing and this, I feel, is his most ambitious and haphazard novel since The Man Who Walks. There is a strange echo of Nabokov, whose novels were similarly unreliable and designed as man-traps of a sort. The voice of Crofton, by turns lyrical, lachrymose and ludicrous, is a peculiar elegy. Flummoxed, yes, but the rose-tinted glasses are both rosy and deceptive in a queasily skilful manner -- Stuart Kelly * THE SCOTSMAN *
Sliding from comedy to elegy to a final moment of redemption, this is a lovely, idiosyncratic book, canny and generous and full of life -- Phil Baker * THE SUNDAY TIMES *
A gleeful satire about owning and being owned - by places, people, ideas and economic systems . . . a gristly, enjoyably intractable book . . . If you want to know anything, indeed everything, about the general history of the music, Kitchenly 434 is your manual -- M John Harrison * GUARDIAN *
A novel in which This is Spinal Tap crashes into The Remains of the Day . . . it's a triumph and a treat * Arts Desk *
A beautifully observed, witty account of arrested development that sticks with you -- Jamie Atkins * RECORD COLLECTOR *
This very funny, occasionally disturbing, unpredictable novel is as densely layered as any prog-rock organ solo -- Neil Armstrong * MAIL ON SUNDAY *
Impressively artful... the novel Kitchenly 434 most brings to mind is Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day - albeit in stranger and ruder form... in best Remains of the Day style, the piercing character study at the book's heart is accompanied by a melancholy sense of an era ending. With the rise of punk, Fear Taker are no longer an all-conquering force - and with the election of Margaret Thatcher the glory days of Seventies bohemianism seem numbered too. -- James Walton * THE TIMES *
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