The long awaited debut novel from the man some are calling The Great Hope of British Fiction has finally been published. The Drowners is an uncompromising, unrelenting and sometimes uncomfortable book that hits the reader head on, taking them on a journey they won’t want to end, and will not forget.
Available in both paperback and on Kindle the following is an excerpt from the opening page:
What the fuck had just happened? That was all Mike could think. What the fuck had just happened? He wasn’t trying to go any further with it or figure out the answer. He kept repeating the thought over and over, like a tongue teasing an exposed nerve in a tooth. He ran a hand through his waxed hair, exhaled a thin stream of smoke through pursed, dry lips, and finished the last of his pint. Carefully he replaced the glass onto the ring stained dark wood of the table, and took stock of his situation. There was that question again. What the fuck had just happened? Rather than figure it out he strode to the bar and replaced his empty glass with a full one.
Eleven twenty-five on a Monday morning. It takes a certain type of pub to look good at eleven twenty-five on a Monday morning, and The Nag’s Head didn’t manage it. It didn’t come close. It would be a good few hours before it would come into its own. The smell of disinfectant and bleach still hung self-consciously in the air, waiting to be replaced by the more comforting aromas of cigarette smoke and spilt beer. The sound of happy slurred conversation was still some hours away, in its place the steady grumble of traffic and the sporadic electronic fanfare from the fruit machine in the corner. Not for the first time that morning Mike surveyed his surroundings. He was in the lounge, the room given its elevated status due to its floor covering. The carpet was so heavily soiled, that the stain had gone past merely colour and had a texture of its own. There was no doubt the carpet could tell some stories. Huge reams of them, great leather-bound volumes, but none for the particularly discerning reader. They all followed the same theme, misplaced dreams, unrealised hopes and expectations. Any optimism in the prologues and early chapters quickly turned into anxiety and trepidation as the thick nicotine stained pages progressed before in turn turning into despair and occasional sudden, and brutal violence.