In Night of the Toxic Ostrich
, right-on stand-up comic James Randall has offended the Mujaheddin. Now they want revenge. James doesn't know this, of course. He's more concerned about his image. Life as Britain's most outspoken gay celibate comic is increasingly tough--particularly when you're heterosexual and desperate. The girl of his dreams, hippy-chick Loretta seems more concerned with liberating ostriches. Until a certain Afghan hit-man arrives on the scene. After that, sex is the least of James's worries, as his life descends into apocalypse, populated by limbless minicab-drivers, exploding enemas and irradiated ostriches.
Fans of Revell's House of the Spirit Levels will recognise his darkly funny world-view, reality twisted a few notches into the realm of the surreal. Fantastical happenings are frequent--this is surely the only novel whose obligatory sex-scene contains a randy ostrich. But at the same time, Revell has a keen eye for the absurdities of life as it is. Modernity is shown up in all its hilarious hollowness--London's newest shopping complex hosts mass weddings where couples are matched by their till receipts while "Pristina", a bar modelled on Serbia's most stylish bomb-shelter, is a magnet for Soho trendies. Comedians will be spitting feathers about this book, not least because Revell has all the best jokes. --Matthew Baylis
'Improbable comedy: stand-up comedian James is seriously offensive about Afghanistan; Rashid is sent to London by the Taliban to seek revenge. Festival appearances' The Bookseller
Magazines: Maxim rev July issue, FHM rev Aug issue, Later rev Aug issue
There was a review of Night Of The Toxic Ostrich in the Guardian 8/7