Crudo by Olivia Laing

Crudo

Olivia Laing

Based on the life of American experimental novelist Kathy Acker. Told in the first person; although sometimes 'I' is 'I' and sometimes 'she'! I found the writing style humorous and entertaining. Although Acker died in 1997, the novel is set in Europe in 2017. This enables 'Acker' to comment on current affairs e.g. Trump's presidency, Brexit and the NHS. Highly praised and definitely different. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Extract

It was uncomputable, it was the province of the novel, that hopeless apparatus of guesswork and supposition, with which Kathy liked to have as little traffic as possible.
She wrote fiction, sure, but she populated it with the already extant, the pre-packaged and readymade. She was in many ways Warhol's daughter, niece at least, a grave-robber, a bandit, happy to snatch what she needed but also morally invested in the cause: that there was no need to invent, you could make anything from out of the overflowing midden of the already-done, the as Becket put it nothing new, it was economic also stylish to help yourself to the grab bag of the actual.

Parallels
  • The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing
  • Blue Self-Portrait by Noemi Lefebvre

Books with similar mood

Helloland

Nick Walker

The Tragedy of Arthur

Arthur Phillips

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Claire North

Roo Kickkick & the Big Bad Blimp

Ryan Gattis

The Character of Rain

Amelie Nothomb

I'm Off

Jean Echenoz

The Ministry of Special Cases

Nathan Englander

The Dream Maker

Mikka Haugaard

The Cadence of Grass

Thomas McGuane

Leonard and Hungry Paul

Rónán Hession

The Brilliant & Forever

Kevin MacNeil

River of Smoke

Amitav Ghosh

The Golden House

Salman Rushdie

There But For The

Ali Smith

A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan

The Wonder

Diana Evans

Tale of a Certain Orient

Milton Hatoum

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

W G Dahlquist

Natural Novel

Georgi Gospodinov

The Mirror

Richard Skinner

The Somnambulist

Jonathan Barnes

The Door

Magda Szabo

Paper

John McCabe

Desolation

Yasmina Reza

The Bitter Taste of Time

Bea Gonzalez

Cain

Luke Kennard

Eggshells

Catriona Lally

Yellow Blue Tibia

Adam Roberts

Cowboy Angels

Paul McAuley

The Good Mayor

Andrew Nicoll

The Man Who Hated Football

Will Buckley

How To Be Both

Ali Smith

Any Human Face

Charles Lambert

The Finkler Question

Howard Jacobson

The Collector of Worlds

Iliya Troyanov

The Lazarus Project

Aleksander Hemon

Oracle Night

Paul Auster

Mr Chartwell

Rebecca Hunt

The 7th Function of Language

Laurent Binet

Spaceman of Bohemia

Jaroslav Kalfar

The Luminaries

Eleanor Catton

The Spoiler

Annalena McAfee

My Soul to Take

Yrsa Sigurdardottir

The Birthday Party

Panos Karnezis

Pynter Bender

Jacob Ross

Kick the Animal Out

Veronique Ovalde

Saving Fish from Drowning

Amy Tan

Holiday in a Coma

Frederic Beigbeder

People I Wanted to Be

Gina Ochsner