Kill Your Friends Paperback – 5 Feb 2009
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"Magnificently eloquent...A vicious, black-hearted howl of a book... Cripplingly funny" (The Times)
"Brilliant. It made me ill with laughter. The filthiest, blackest, most shocking, most hilarious debut novel I've read in years" (India Knight)
"Might well be the best British novel since Trainspotting" (Word Magazine)
"An all-out assault, a withering, scabrous attack on every part of the filthy machine... Stelfox is a creation of unparalleled awfulness, chronically sexist, racist and everything else-ist. He is funny, too... You laugh though you know you shouldn't" (Independent)
"Niven's insider knowledge, coupled with the kind of headlong, febrile prose that would have Hunter S. Thompson happily emptying both barrels into the sky, results in a novel that is cripplingly funny" (The Times)
"Dark, twisted... and also laugh-out-loud funny"See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Steven Stelfox is an A&R man for a well-known music label in 1997's London. His job is to discover hits and make the company a boatload of money. He doesn't spend a lot of time doing this however as he's usually too busy coked up, fornicating, or verbally or mentally tearing into anyone else whose existence is not his own.
Interestingly, this book is called 'Kill Your Friends' however Steven has no friends. None that we come into contact with anyway. There is a lot of social interaction, however it is all with colleagues, musicians, prostitutes, and unfortunates who happen to cross Steven's path. I'll never understand people who rate a book down because they can't relate to the central character. I don't want to read about myself!
Steven Stelfox is despicable. If you could relate to him I'd be worried! He's also made me laugh more than any other novel's character has in years. This book is relentless, nasty, brutal, at the same time so hilariously entertaining - if you're not easily offended. I couldn't stop cracking up with laughter reading this on my tube journeys. If I didn't have the book in my hand I would have looked like a demented grinning idiot to the other passengers.
It doesn't revel in the violence like 'American Psycho' does. There are only a couple key scenes of violence and they are brief. In fact those who enjoyed 'Psycho' but couldn't stomach the atrocities might very well have found the perfect book in 'Kill Your Friends'. Like with a lot of films I love, I'm often drawn to dark and disturbing novels. I think it's because I'm so cheerful and happy in real life. It's kind of like a balancing act. And to me it's almost like immersing yourself in and learning about a different culture.
As cruel and nasty as Steven Stelfox is, I think it'd be difficult to be personally offended by anything in here as Stelfox takes potshots at every spectrum of society. Nobody is safe from his withering wrath. If you're looking for something guaranteed to tickle the laughing bone, you probably won't do much better than 'Kill Your Friends'. At the very least it will make you feel so much better as a person!
However, about a third of the way in I thought it began to reveal more of its own voice, perhaps when, much like with Filth, it became clearer that the protagonist maybe wasn't as smart as he liked to think.
By the end I was fully on-board as the relatively short book rattled towards the finish.
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