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Glass by Alex Christofi
  

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Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015.

Huckleberry Finn meets Candide, but with added window cleaning - Glass is a charming, off-beat comedy about a young man finding his way in the modern world.

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Synopsis

Glass by Alex Christofi

Glass is pure. Glass is transparent. Glass is sharp. Gunter Glass, ex-milkman and aspiring window-cleaner, is certainly pure. And he's pretty transparent. But the jury's still out on how sharp he is. What naive young Gunter does have is a head for heights and, ever since he visited a glassblower's workshop as a child, an unusual fixation with glass. When a minor adventure up the spire of Salisbury Cathedral makes Gunter a local celebrity, John Blades - window-cleaner to the stars - comes calling. He wants Gunter to join him in London to clean Europe's tallest skyscraper, the newly constructed Shard in London Bridge. With his mother recently passed away, his dad retired and no money to pay off the mortgage, Gunter takes Blades up on his offer and soon finds himself, for the first time, among the bright lights of London. He has his first experience of romantic love with short-range psychic Lieve Toureau, tries not to encourage Blades' frequent racist outbursts, and cohabits a Hackney 'bachelor-pad' with a reclusive landlord who has spent decades writing a never-ending book in his cork-lined bedroom. But above all, Gunter spends his time trying to figure out how to be good and follow his dear departed mother's advice as best he can. Will Gunter find his way along the straight and narrow? Or will his innocence put him on collision course with the frequently baffling modern world?

Reviews

'A rare novel ... rollicking' -- Josephine Livingstone Dazed & Confused

'Christofi's debut novel is both charming and funny, and not a little affecting, too ... there's enough here to show you the author has plenty more to offer and that, like his hero, he definitely has his heart in the right place.' Daily Mail

'This first novel makes me want to use words like sparkling , sharp , translucent - not surprising, since it is about glass and one man's obsession with it ... Christofi's writing really does gleam with wit, inventiveness and an offbeat charm.' -- Kate Saunders The Times

'Eccentricity ... alongside raw emotion ... a promising debut from an intriguing new voice.' We Love This Book

'It's a tale about growing up, one that's as funny as it is touching. A talent to keep an eye on. Shortlist A confident and frequently adroit first novel ... enjoyably mercurial and quixotic' Morning Star

About the Author

Alex Christofi was born and grew up in Dorset. After reading English at the University of Oxford, he moved to London to work in publishing. He has written a number of short pieces for theatre, and blogs about arts and culture for Prospect magazine. Glass is his first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

24th December 2015

Author

Alex Christofi

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Publisher

Serpent's Tail an imprint of Profile Books Ltd

Format

Hardback
240 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781846689680

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