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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John Niven was born in Scotland. He is the author of six novels including Kill Your Friends, which is being made into a major motion picture, and The Second Coming. He lives in England.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
With pub fighting, as in all the creative arts, it was crucial to avoid cliché. You had to come at it from strange angles and oblique perspectives. Your opening had to be strong and unexpected. Then, scene by scene, you had to make your point quickly and get the fuck out of there. In this last respect pub fighting was very much like the bitch Kennedy had betrayed the novel for. It was like screenwriting, where economy was king. (Chapter 1, p. 6)
They went to Le Orpheus in Beverly Hills, where Kennedy- a known tipper of preposterous magnitude- was greeted by the maître d’ in very much the manner of a priest welcoming Christ himself to a Sunday-morning service. And the comparison was apt – for lunch was the closest thing Kennedy Marr had to church: a sacred institution, with its own arcane rituals that had to be observed. (Chapter 6, p. 39)
He wandered through to his bedroom where, thankfully, all signs of Saturday night’s atrocity had been erased by the cleaners. Women – they lived on their own and you had, what? Full fridges. Cleanliness. Paid bills. Fresh clothes neatly folded and stacked in drawers. Men? Unless you did what Kennedy did and threw money and staff at the situation you had chaos. Squalor. The rafts of T-shirts and pyjama bottoms stuffed down the back of the bed, gradually transitioning from bedwear to spunk rags to science experiments. Final demands and a radioactive carton of Chinese food sharing shelf space with a jar of mustard. If only, he reflected, and not for the first time, he could hire cleaners for his mind. That’s what his mind needed. Staff. (Chapter 12, p. 72)
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