Fiction kapow_cover_0

Published on August 29th, 2012


Kapow! by Adam Thirlwell

| Press reviews | Buy the book | Have your say |

Blurb: Set in the thick of the Arab Spring, it is guided by the high-speed monologue of an unnamed narrator – over-doped, over-caffeinated, overweight – trying to make sense of this history in real time. A clever, funny, and bitingly critical cultural commentary, it uses spinning digressions to tell the stories of a group of interconnected characters in London and Egypt, each transformed by the idea of revolution. (Visual Editions, 2012)

Other books by the author

Nicholas Royale, The Independent on Sunday

While the initial impression is of a bold formal experiment with the polyphonic novel, once it becomes evident that for the most part the inserts work as unanchored footnotes, it also becomes clear that this is a surprisingly conventional novel – if novel it is. There’s nothing wrong with it being conventional, but it is tricked out to look tricksy, while the trick is that it’s not.

Read full review

Theo Tait, The LRB

“It’s revealing that Thirlwell can’t go more than a couple of paragraphs without returning to the first person, and that most of his stylistic tics involve using the words ‘I’ and ‘me’. Nothing can bridge the gap between the narrator and the Arab Spring. Thirlwell writes of Mouloud that ‘his modest utopia was just a president who could stand being sassed.’ Sassed: it’s a word that betrays his total inability to think about Mubarak’s rule. When Rustam turns towards the Muslim Brotherhood during a spell in prison, it’s signalled with a cutesy riff about his beard: ‘Rustam was growing a beard, a theological beard.’ The implied parallel between the book’s formal rebellions and the events in the Middle East is silly.”

Read full review

Buy the book

Amazon | Foyles | Hive | Waterstones

Share Button
Kapow! by Adam Thirlwell The Omnivore



Tags: , ,

Back to Top ↑