day 24: a book you wish more people would read
I will willingly admit that the sole reason for my reading The Late Hector Kipling was that it was written by the wonderful David Thewlis, and you know what, I am glad of that. The cover of this book is grotesque and if it wasn’t written by David then I probably wouldn’t have ever picked it up and just think what I would be missing out on.
So, what’s it about?
“Hector Kipling has everything to live for: he is a talented artist with loving parents, a beautiful girlfriend, dependable mates and good health. But when Kirk Church, one of his best friends, and a habitual painter of cutlery, announces that he may have a brain tumour, the prospect of a character-building bereavement, with all the attendant suffering and sympathy, is a little too difficult for Hector to resist. Will it make him a better artist? Will it make him as successful as his friend Lenny Snook, who fills limousines with blood and has just been nominated for the Turner Prize? As events begin to unravel it doesn’t take long for Hector’s charmed world to fall completely and irreparably apart.
From settees to stalkers, con men to corpses, paranoid self-portraits to S&M, The Late Hector Kipling is an irreverent and candid exploration of life, death, art and everything in between. “
Why do I like it? The Late Hector Kipling is one of those books that you just want to share; you kind of want to stand up and say ‘hey listen, this book is totally under-rated. You might not have heard of it, but it’s great,” because it really is. It’s dark and satirical and clever and funny and it shows Mr. Thewlis is not only a fabulous actor, he can write too. He creates a main character that you don’t like but that you’re fascinated with all the same, his characterisation is clever and his dialogue feels….I don’t know. Real. This novel feels personal – sometimes a little too personal – and it feels real at the same time as feeling utterly absurd and perhaps it’s because it’s written in first person but reading Hector Kipling kind of gives you that feeling of looking at something you shouldn’t; you know you shouldn’t stare but somehow you just can’t peel your eyes away. It’s a car-crash book.
It’s not a book that everybody will love, at all, but it’s definitely a book that I really wish more people would read.