Meet Steven Stelfox.
London, 1997: New Labour is sweeping into power, and Britpop is at its zenith. A&R man Stelfox is slashing and burning his way through the music industry, fuelled by greed and inhuman quantities of cocaine, searching for the next hit record amid a relentless orgy of self-gratification.
But as the hits dry up and the industry begins to change, Stelfox must take the notion of cutthroat business practices to murderous new levels in a desperate attempt to salvage his career.
©2015 John Niven (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks
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Hedonistic nutter A&R man sniffs, screws and eventually throws the moral compass out into space, in his rush to survive in the 1990's music business. Apart from Steven Stelfox, the star of this story, characterisation is cartoonishly thin. I think this is done on purpose, so that the reader cares as little for the fate of each character that comes unstuck, as Stelfox does himself.
There is a lot of grim humour here, one or two bits genuinely causing me to laugh out loud, partly in shock at the latest antic. As the book was written 8 years ago and deals with an industry in the last days before the internet revolution, there is a nostalgic feeling that this might be back in the bad old days and it couldn't happen today!
I enjoyed the narration, which caught the air of the privileged exec very well.
Having read the other John Niven novels - and thoroughly enjoyed them - I got half way through this one and got bored of it.
I reckon I'm a liberated person but this book takes it too far. More than needed and very monotonous.
But then again maybe the story picked up after I got fed up with it.
I'll never know.
"Hard to stomach"
Tom Riley (who stars in the film adaptation as Parker Hall) gives a great performance. However the the main character is despicable and hard to put up with listening to, like a racist you've just met at a party.
I put up with it to the end expecting a satisfying outcome, but it was denied. Some might enjoy this but I just felt like I had out up with this idiot for hours and got nothing in return.
"Wholly satisfactory ranting gore fest"
This is a great listen - chugs along at a good pace which never slackens. Not for the faint hearted, the violence is toe curling at times. Reminded me a lot of American Psycho somehow, the narrator is relentlessly consistent and irredeemable, but somehow by the end I'm not rooting for his downfall, some achievement by the author, because the character is one of the most deeply repugnant I've ever come across. Good stuff.
"A cracking story but not for the easily offended !"
I haven't read the print version but cannot see why there would be a difference
Just a cracking good read, I can't really imagine what it would compare to but American Psycho with humour might be close
I think the death of rebecca was great fun
Short, witty sharp with great observations of the male psyche
"Shocking and hilarious!"
Graphic violence and comedy mixed together, experience heightened by fantastic narrating. You keep wondering what crazy thing the lead character is going to do next.
Loved this book, great story and the narrator is brilliant, he played the part perfectly
"Excellent, but grimy"
I very much enjoyed this book. It's dark and nasty, and references many musical acts that I'm familiar with.
It does, however, leave you feeling dirty. The 'hero' of the tale is a vile human being, and it's certainly not a tale for young ears.
This was a book club choice . I then promptly deleted it from my library.
The language used was unnecessarily 'fowl and in poor taste' and some of the writing disturbing and sad. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone.
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