by Luke Brown
Narrated by Luke Francis
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Pub Date 1 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 1 Jul 2022
"A raw, funny, surprisingly tender novel about belonging, class, and what makes a life a success. I loved the central brother/sister relationship and how the book confronted masculinity and the disparity between womanhood and the male experience. I grew so fond of the protagonist, and devoured the book in a day." Dolly Alderton.
"What I did to them was terrible, but you have to understand the context. This was London, 2016.."
Bohemia is history. Paul has awoken to the fact that he will always be better known for reviewing haircuts than for his literary journalism. He is about to be kicked out of his cheap flat in east London and his sister has gone missing after an argument about what to do with the house where they grew up. Now that their mother is dead this is the last link they have to the declining town on the north-west coast where they grew up.
Enter Emily Nardini, a cult author, who – after granting Paul a rare interview – receives him into her surprisingly grand home. Paul is immediately intrigued: by Emily and her fictions, by her vexingly famous and successful partner Andrew (too old for her by half), and later by Andrew’s daughter Sophie, a journalist whose sexed-up vision of the revolution has gone viral. Increasingly obsessed, relationships under strain, Paul travels up and down, north and south, torn between the town he thought he had escaped and the city that threatens to chew him up.
With heart, bite and humour, Luke Brown leads the reader beyond easy partisanship and into much trickier terrain. Straddling the fissures within a man and his country, riven by envy, wealth, ownership, entitlement, and loss, Theft is an exhilarating howl of a novel.
Perfect for fans of Jonathan Cole's "Middle England", Zadie Smith's "NW" and Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity."
‘It's a rare thrill to find a writer with Luke Brown's gift for nimbly navigating the maze of gentrification, Brexit, and the gig economy with dark, effervescent hilarity. Theft is a funhouse mirror held up to the grim absurdity of our political moment, a quick-witted tale of generational crisis, and an incredibly poignant and funny take on what happens after bad turns to worse.’ Alexandra Kleeman
‘Luke Brown’s Theft is acerbic but tender, biting but elegiac, a snapshot of early twenty-first century life in which the unceasing prospect of catastrophe is the new normal.’ Colin Barrett
‘Theft is a witty, tender and insightful portrait of a city, and a life, at at time of crisis. It’s engrossing and charming and made me laugh many, many times.’ Nicole Flattery
‘This Britain is both utterly recognisable and freshly revealed and the writing assured, funny and always humane.’ Catherine O'Flynn
‘Astute and funny.’ Lucy Knight, Sunday Times.
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