Stretch, 29 Paperback – 19 Jun 2000
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‘Brilliantly funny. A dazzling performance. This is a book of great poise, teeming with invention, wicked humour and unforced insights.’ OBSERVER
‘Heartbreakingly funny. Debuts don’t get much better than this.’ DAILY MIRROR
‘Lit by some truly fine writing and observation. Lanigan’s account of a family sliding into misery has moments of Dickensian greatness.’ INDEPENDENT
‘Lanigan’s writing is dense with witty metaphors. The book also sends up London life a treat. But the book’s warmth and honesty ensure that it is more than simply satire… one not only laughs but sympathises.’ DAILY TELEGRAPH
From the Back Cover
An outstanding debut novel – an original and engaging black comedy about an angst-ridden twenty-something Londoner whose main achievement in life seems to be that he can prove that he's a loser.
'If I had a business card there's only one thing it could say on it: FRANK STRETCH – LESS SUCCESSFUL THAN MY FRIENDS'
Now, you may think you're less successful than your friends and you may well be right. The difference between you and Frank, however, is that he has a system that proves it. Everyone he knows or meets is given a 'life score' – marks out of ten for the ten 'important' areas of life: money, love, sex, work, car etc.
His best friend Tom scores an impressive 73, his flatmate Henry 59. Even his oily and more-than-likely criminal boss Bart scores a hefty 68. But Frank – with his going-nowhere job managing one of Bart's yuppie bars, his rusting 1977 Cavalier and the fact that he hasn't pulled for months – weighs in with a paltry 29.
Frank finally decides that things must change. But with Frank's luck, there's every chance that things will get a lot worse before they get better…See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Expertly written, the style carries the reader along effortlessly, never quite knowing what to expect next, Frank Stretch establishes his ability to do the worst possible thing at almost every turn, and how easy it is to relate.
The book follows an almost classic template, including the flight, which brings back memories of Allan Partridge amongst others.
Strecth almost continually projects a blind optimism and acceptance to his continued spiralling descent, and in this respect it is a more honest and entertaining book.
very highly recomended, and cant wait to read more from Lanigan.
Damian Lanigan has created a character in Frank Stretch that approaches a Homer Simpson-esque degree of doing, saying and thinking things that make men cringe with embarrasment because they can see a bit of Frank in themselves.
I reckon I score in the mid forties myself. Could do better on the wheels, home and popularity front!
"My sort of party had grave gender imbalances and not enough booze and tended to sift down to four pasty lads arguing bitterly about D.H Lawrence.'
In this stunning first novel, Lanigan provides us with a portrait of London in the 1990's that is articulated using the power tools of rudeness and booze, and uses those to cut through and lay the human condition bare. Peculiarly, it is touching at times. This book is both universal and exact.
Intelligent, corrupt with wit, it's actually gutter funny. It cracks you up, page by page.
'Stretch,29' is as vivid and vivacious as 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels', provides a different and perhaps larger cross section of London, one that is paralyzed by self-consciousness, and arms you with a new moral imperative, to be as rude as you can be.
Though some American readers may find the slang bewildering and the ending ponderous, Mr. Lanigan's writing talents (to use my American vernacular) kick-ass. With gems like, "Sometimes, unavoidably, I would become aroused by all the noise, and nick a dingy onanistic biscuit from his erotic banqueting table," a new literary talent is here. This Yank is ready for more: bring on "The Other Side of Patrick Moon."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw this books many years ago during a trip to England and have been trying to track down a copy ever since. Read morePublished on 25 Nov. 2008 by A. Ross
Entertaining in places, quite well written but ultimately this is a rather dissapointing novel. I think I may have read too many of these 90's blokey attempts at angst novels. Read morePublished on 7 Jun. 2004 by Mr. K. M. Chesters
Having started the book with no knowledge of Damian's talents, i was captivated by the books easy reading, as it guides you through the life of 'Franky Boy'(whom, as Paul Calf... Read morePublished on 16 May 2002 by Mr. C. Howroyd
Well, perhaps I'm getting too old (32 now) but these Turning-30-Angst type books are all getting a bit tiresome. Read morePublished on 30 May 2001 by Richard Cutler
Having not read a book for two years my new years resolution was to get back to reading. What a place to start! Having glanced at a review in a magazine it caught my eye. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2001
It made me laugh / It made me think / It almost made me turn to drink / the type of book you always lend / to a non returning kind of friend / But I won't lend this out, it is MINE... Read morePublished on 1 Sept. 2000