Straight White Male

Straight White Male

John Niven

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0802123031

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Irish novelist Kennedy Marr is a first rate bad boy. When he is not earning a fortune as one of Hollywood’s most sought after script writers, he is drinking, insulting and philandering his way through LA, ‘successfully debunking the myth that men are unable to multitask’. He is loved by many women, but loathed by even more including ex-wives on both sides of the pond.

Kennedy’s appetite for trouble is insatiable, but when he discovers that he owes 1.4 million dollars in back taxes, it seems his outrageous, hedonistic lifestyle may not be as sustainable as he thought. Forced to accept a teaching position at sleepy Deeping University, where his ex-wife and teenaged daughter now reside, Kennedy returns to England with a paper trail of tabloid headlines and scorned starlets hot on his bespoke heels. However, as he acclimatizes to the quaint campus Kennedy is forced to reconsider his laddish lifestyle. Incredible as it may seem, there might actually be a father and a teacher lurking inside this ‘preening, narcissistic, priapic sociopath’.

STRAIGHT WHITE MALE is a wildly funny and whip smart tale of Kennedy’s transatlantic misadventures. It’s an uninhibited and heartfelt look at the mid-life crisis of a lovable rogue.

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very year that Drummond’s third – and so far final – novel had failed to find a publisher. Reading through the press pack another terrible symmetry struck him: Kennedy had probably been informed of his being the youngest ever novelist to make the Booker shortlist around the same time that Drummond’s agent had taken him for that awful pint of beer in the Pillars of Hercules on Greek Street, where he told him the dread words about his third novel’s attempts to find a home: ‘I think we’ve done all

the way people really speak to one another, or to comment on some aspect of the human condition, and they had come up horrifyingly short. They had been found wanting. Their take didn’t matter. (And we think here of Dr Drummond’s lonely hardback of A Circular Defence – Picador, 1991 – gathering dust on a shelf.) And who wants to be told that? They want to be told ‘Good try. Keep going.’ They want to be told ‘I didn’t mean it. She didn’t mean anything. I made a terrible mistake.’ Honesty would

staff club? My treat.’ ‘Oh, how kind. That would be . . . but, ah, I’d better . . .’ She pointed to the glowing computer screen with a trembling finger. ‘You know.’ ‘Sure. Well, see you . . .’ ‘Monday?’ ‘Yeah. Monday. Night.’ Out into the car park, empty save for his rented Aston, Melissa’s alfalfa-coloured 2CV and Drummond’s Prius. Turning into the wind he looked across campus to where light and, faintly, noise were coming from the Student Union. An amusing pint with the undergraduates? And

laughed – it was so like Gerry, to somehow not only fail at the simplest task but to fail in the grandest, most outré manner. To have it conclude in the worst possible way for everyone around her, to cause the maximum amount of grief. The three of them went for a walk on the pier. It was a freakishly stunning day – windless, the blue of the sky unbroken by a single cloud. Patrick and Kennedy laid it out for Ma on a bench overlooking the sea, the cartoon music and jangle of the arcades

knew and now would never see again – and clicked on ‘Play’ as he walked past the Spice of Life onto Cambridge Circus, and suddenly, deafeningly, ‘William, It Was Really Nothing’ filled his head. It was a song Kennedy had grown up with but, Christ, the rush! When had he last listened to music like this while walking the streets? When had he last listened to the Smiths? He felt empowered, noble, high. He felt seventeen. Oh, good call, Robin. Excellent. Good opener. He took a swig – crossing

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