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Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles

Care of Wooden Floors

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Winner of a Betty Trask Award 2013.

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' 2012.

One of our Great Reads You May Have Missed in 2012.

A first novel to really get excited about. Set in an unnamed Eastern European country, our narrator is minding his friend's immaculate flat while the said friend is in America divorcing his wife ... easy, until alcohol raises its ugly head and small disasters turn huge. The absent owner has left little notes all over the place, the discovery of which introduces us to the man, a complete contrast to his flat-sitting friend. Beautifully written, very clever and unusual, this is an absolute gem. Highly recommended.

September 2012 Debut of the Month.

If you like Will Wiles you might also like to read books by Tom Rachman, Patrick Quinlan and Paul Torday.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles

A bold and brilliant debut from a darkly funny new voice. Oskar is a minimalist composer best known for his piece Variations on Tram Timetables. He lives with his wife and two cats in an unnamed Eastern European city. But this book isn't really about Oskar. Oskar is in Los Angeles, having his marriage dismantled by lawyers. Meanwhile, he has entrusted an old friend to take care of his perfect, beautiful apartment. Despite Oskar leaving extensive notes on how to keep his flat in pristine condition, a tiny oversight initiates a chain of farcical, and even fatal, disasters. Care of Wooden Floors is about loneliness, friendship and the quest for, and struggle against, perfection. And it is, a little, about how to take care of wooden floors.


'A very funny novel combining schadenfreude and belly laughs. Just don't let Wiles flat-sit for you'

'Ingenious ! his story has something in common, in terms of manic sensitivity, with Edgar Allan Poes'
The Tell

-Tale Heart ! a smart and polished debut
Daily Telegraph

'This novel acquires the queasy allure of a cliff edge, the sense of impending catastrophe becoming strangely compelling ! addictive and rather clever, too'
Daily Mail

'Funny, beguiling and quietly profound; a wonderfully well-crafted debut'

'A nicely turned satire on the notion that the path to spiritual contentment lies in a pristine set of polished wooden floorboards... Wiles has an eye for beauty, but an even more impressive eye for ugliness... a novel full of impeccably stylish writing' Guardian

'Wiles is a talent to watch'
The Spectator

'Dark and funny in equal measures ! a debut as crisp, slick and polished as a well-cared-for wooden floor'
Scotland on Sunday

About the Author

Will Wiles

Will Wiles is an architecture and design journalist. He lives in London.

Author photo © Marcus Ross

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Book Info

Publication date

30th August 2012


Will Wiles

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Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


304 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Debuts of the Month
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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