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Robinson is a persuader. He uses his voice to win and manipulate, and the narrator of this novel knows he would still fall for Robinson's charm. It led him into the night-world of Soho, of seedy pubs, sexual fantasies, violence and betrayal.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781862074637
ISBN-10: 1862074631
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 126mm x 13mm)
Pages: 204
Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publish Date: 22-Aug-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » How much are the na?ve corrupted by others, and how much are they willing accomplices, all too ready to shed self-responsibility? Do we simply need permission to be bad from someone who appears to be in control? This novel stares unforgettably into this murky territory. In the London of a moral war-zone, the eponymous hero lures the distant narrator, Christo, into a downward spiral where he cuts links with his past, descends into crippling alcoholism and eventually ends up working for Robinson. Prostitution, child sex, pornographic film making drag the narrator into the extremis of snuff-movies and murder. The book has a powerful mood of film noir created by the incessant rain in a drowning city, the underground premises below the bookshop Christo temporarily manages, and empty factories where the films are shot, the settings a neglected vacuum for human evil to burst forth. In the surreal world of washed-up oddballs and crippled psyches, Soho is shown at its most amoral, feral and uncaring, where those who damn themselves exist on drugs and massive drinking binges. Christo narrates his downfall with a languid detachment as he loses his wife, his self-respect and his will. Robinson appears then disappears in the first half of the book, almost leaving Christo to decide on his own descent. Slowly, resignedly, he begins to think like Robinson, to fantasize about the man, to want to be in the shadow of such dubious power. When Robinson returns he takes the narrator and others with him in a manic quest to satiate his own inner darkness. At the end of the narrative Robinson disappears again, presumed dead, but as the city floods he is seen, Noah-like, the primal survivor, on a party-boat on the Thames seducing once more by his evil bonhomie, saving people from their better selves, showing them, perhaps, their real natures. This is a searingly compelling read, brilliant and disturbing with strange, dislocated and strikingly drawn characters. Read it and its aura will hover over you for days. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Christopher Petit

Chris Petit is a novelist and film-maker. His work in film includes 'Radio On', 'Chinese Boxes' and (with lain Sinclair) 'The Cardinal and the Corpse', 'The Falconer and Asylum' and a forthcoming film on the M25. He has also written The Psalm Killer (1997) and Back From the Dead (1999). He lives in London.

Books By Author Christopher Petit

Hard Shoulder by Christopher Petit

The Hard Shoulder

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