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King Death by Toby Litt

King Death

Crime / Mystery   Books for the Boys   Literary Fiction   Thriller / Suspense   Reading Groups   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Modern, hard-hitting and compelling work from an award-winning novelist. Characters so real you feel they are actually talking to you and a situation bizarre yet strangely believable. Who knows what strange and secret happenings go unwitnessed beneath the cracks of London every day? But on this day an act was witnessed, a human heart falling onto a glass roof. This poetic and improbable start sets off a chain of dominoes masterfully crafted. Toby Litt is a real talent and I can’t wait for his next offering.

Comparison: Ian McEwan, Jake Arnott, China Mieville (The City and the City).

If you like Toby Litt you might also like to read books by Nicola Barker.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

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King Death by Toby Litt

Kumiko saw it first. A heart - a human heart - slithering down outside the window of a train travelling between London Bridge and Blackfriars. Someone must have thrown it out from a carriage in front. Kumiko is determined to find out who - and why. But Skelton was sitting next to Kumiko on the train and he saw it too, so he also wants to get to the bottom of the mystery. Or he says he does, but really he just wants Kumiko back, because she's walked out on him, just like that, and left him heartbroken. Each for their own reasons, Kumiko and Skelton set out - separately - on a bizarre trail of discovery. Darting between dingy student pubs, the roofs of Borough Market and the corridors and car-parks of Guy's Hospital, they become embroiled in the seedy world of young medical students, until eventually the gossip and the stories lead them both to the hospital's infamous dissection lecturer - known behind his back as 'King Death'.

About the Author

Toby Litt

Toby Litt is the author of the alphabetically arranged Adventures in Capitalism, Beatniks, Corpsing, deadkidsongs, Exhibitionism, Finding Myself, Ghost Story, Hospital, I Play the Drums in a Band Called okay and Journey into Space. In 2003, he was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. He was the winner of the 2009 Manchester Fiction Prize. He is a regular on Radio 3’s The Verb. You can visit Toby Litt's own website at

A film adaptation of King Death, co-written by Toby Litt, is being produced by Alexandra Stone (Young Adam, Kidulthood). It will be directed and co-written by Gerald McMorrow (Franklyn).

Author photo © Jerry Bauer

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Book Info

Publication date

27th May 2010


Toby Litt

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Penguin Books Ltd




Crime / Mystery
Books for the Boys
Literary Fiction
Thriller / Suspense
Reading Groups



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