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Lurid & Cute: A Novel by Adam Thirlwell
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Lurid & Cute: A Novel

by Adam Thirlwell

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Lurid & Cute – A Challenging Read

The anal retentive literary set in London, those that are so out of touch with the book buying public in the rest of the UK, will love Lurid & Cute. They have twice voted him Granta Best Young British Novelist but Adam Thirlwell still divides opinion some as a great talent others in the realm of the emperor’s new clothes, I am somewhere between the two opinions.

Lurid & Cute is not an easy read but then experimental literature never is, so if you like paragraphs, the Oxford comma and general conventions of writing then this is a book you need to avoid. To some this will seem to avant garde to be a real novel but there is a story under all the experimental writing. Lurid & Cute does push the boundaries of literature in the way it is written but I would remind people that English in both written and oral forms is always evolving and Thirwell is deep in this process of constant evolution of the novel.

Adam Thirwell in Lurid & Cute is challenging us with tales of suburban sex and violence and our attitude towards it there are at times comedy mixed with noir. Our nameless narrator wakes up in a hotel room with a woman who is not his wife, who may also be dead and things go downhill for the narrator from there. The story is set in a nameless suburb that could be anywhere in the world but there seems to be flavours of LA, and London amongst others.

What may put off many readers is that we are stuck inside the mind of the narrator who treats his wife and his mistress with equal disdain who seems to suffer from narcotic paranoia mixed heavily with narcissistic tendencies. It could be argued that narrator is a depiction of men who have wives and mistresses which would be hard to argue against.

If you are looking for a book with a strong plot then this is not the book for you. If you are able to read this with an open mind and willing to take the journey that Thirwell sets and the experimentation then this is a pleasure admittedly hard work but a pleasure all the same. If you want to see a novel’s boundaries pushed and experimented with then this is the book for you. ( )
  atticusfinch1048 | Jan 27, 2015 |
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The narrator has had the good education, and also the good job. Together with his wife and dog, he lives at home with his parents. But then the lurid overtakes him--a chain of events that feels to those inside it narcotic and neurotic, like one long and terrible descent: complete with lies, deceit, and chicanery, and including, in escalating order, one orgy, one brothel, and a series of firearms disputes.… (more)

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