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Spanning one dynamite paragraph, Ten Storey Love Song follows Bobby the Artist’s rise to stardom and horrific drug psychosis, Johnnie’s attempts to stop thieving and start pleasing Ellen in bed, and Alan Blunt, a forty-year-old truck driver who spends a worrying amount of time patrolling the grounds of the local primary school.
Bobby – the so-called ‘love child of Keith Haring and Basquiat’, holed up in a Middlesbrough tower block – works on his canvases under the influence of pills-on-toast, acid-on-crackers and Francis Bacon. When Bent Lewis, a famous art dealer from that London appears, Bobby and friends are sent on a sweaty adventure of self-discovery, hedonism and violence involving a 2.5cm-head claw hammer.
A love song to a loveless Teesside and a portrait of a deeply dysfunctional, creative and drug-sodden world, Ten Storey Love Song is a ferocious slab of concrete prose peppered with beauty and delivered with glorious abandon.
This 24-year-old Middlesbrough resident's debut Apples made a fan of his hero Irvine Welsh. His second book, Ten Storey Love Song, starts with Es on toast and ends in an unfinished sentence. What's in between is astounding. As he says, 'It's about sex, death, paint and sweets.' Look away if you're easily shocked, otherwise pre-order now.
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