Adam Thirlwell’s Lurid and Cute is his third novel and is the first since being awarded title of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2013. It is because of this you can be forgiven for having spectacularly high hopes for this novel and in principle it is clearly a feat of good workmanship.
The tale of the narrator opens out as he struggles, like most young adults trying to find their place in a world that has clearly promised too much and not quite delivered enough, to find the correct balance with his wife, friends and the parents he lives with. Sex, drugs and not a great deal of rock n roll feature heavily, and while the story itself plays out to be quite interesting and quickly jumps from morally ambiguous to sheer depravity I did struggle with the unfocussed and often tricky structure which, although clearly an effect to bring the reader closer to the imbalanced narrator, actually removes the reader further from the situation (or it did me at least!).
I was having to read a minimum of 20 pages to even really get involved with the story and, unlike my usual reading style, I could not have ANY distractions without losing the will to read. The anti-page turner if you will.
Probably one that fans of Thirlwell will appreciate (dark, melancholic) but certainly not something I would recommend for the commute.