Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Book Review: Straight White Male by John Niven

I wonder if Niven and I will die at the same place too.

Kennedy Marr is a novelist from the old school. Irish, acerbic, and a borderline alcoholic and sex-addict, his mantra is drink hard, write hard and try to screw every woman you meet.
He's writing film scripts in LA, fucking, drinking and insulting his way through Californian society, but also suffering from writers block and unpaid taxes. Then a solution presents itself - Marr is to be the unlikely recipient of the W. F. Bingham Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Modern Literature, an award worth half a million pounds. But it does not come without a price: he must spend a year teaching at the English university where his ex-wife and estranged daughter now reside.

As Kennedy acclimatises to the sleepy campus, inspiring revulsion and worship in equal measure, he's forced to reconsider his precarious lifestyle. Incredible as it may seem, there might actually be a father and a teacher lurking inside this 'preening, narcissistic, priapic, sociopath'. Or is there.

I read this book almost a year ago and due to mysterious internet reasons I can't find the actual review that I started writing for this then. Which means I will be writing this review on the random things I remember from it. I think they're word document somewhere, but I can't find it so... this what we have.

Kenald is the cliché alcoholic middle age writer wishing for better times before he became a rich selfish arsehole, so super likable as he tries to sleep with women only a few years older than his daughter (that summary does involve sarcasm and the choice to call him Kenald for some reason). He's self aware and is doing a lot reflecting on how he end up this way. Kennedy an arsehole, but realistic so he comes off as a flawed character that's spent too much time in Hollywood.

This book deals with Hollywood and academia bullshit as well as the up and downs of life such as addiction and family issues that can't be fixed with money. Kennedy behaviour is often cringe worthy.

Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars for Cocaine Wanderings. This is a funny books that fleshed out stereotypes and clichés while being funny and poignant so basically it the sort of thing I love and therefore recommend to people who like like their comedy to come with a punch in the gut. 

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