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The Kills by Richard House

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Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013.

An astonishing landmark novel in four books, The Kills is both a political thriller and a bravura literary performance.

If you like Richard House you might also like to read books by Eleanor Catton, David Gilbert and Terry Hayes.


The Kills by Richard House

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013.

This is The Kills: Sutler, The Massive, The Kill, The Hit. The Kills is an epic novel of crime and conspiracy told in four books. It begins with a man on the run and ends with a burned body. Moving across continents, characters and genres, there will be no more ambitious or exciting novel in 2013. In a ground-breaking collaboration between author and publisher, Richard House has also created multimedia content that takes you beyond the boundaries of the book and into the characters' lives outside its pages. This material and much more can be found on http://www.thekills.co.uk.


'A hot favourite on the Booker longlist ... This is a staggering achievement ... Highly recommended'
Daily Mail

'If you have a week-long, do-nothing holiday planned, or you have to spend some time convalescing in hospital, or you are going to prison, then Richard House's monumental, Man Booker-longlisted thriller may be the ideal accompaniment. The Kills is a dense and twisty series of linked stories that range across Europe, America and the Middle East, centred on the corrupt misappropriation of funds meant to rebuild post-war Iraq, with a vivid cast of characters and creepy meta overtones -- a book within a book that seems to echo murders in the other narrative strands ... The Kills is engrossing but also ferociously complex and demanding ... [House] has a lovely turn of phrase ... he writes in startling detail about character, location and physical mannerisms ... a very sophisticated yarn-spinner'
Evening Standard

'Richard House has written a damn good book ...The Kills is possibly the most eyebrow-raising entry on this year's Booker longlist ... he is not your average novelist, but is also a film-maker, artist and magazine editor ... If this all seems hifalutin, rest assured: The Kills is still all about spinning a good yarn'
Sunday Times, Culture

'For all its bulk The Kills proves easily digestible ... it is well worth ejecting five or six conventional thrillers from your holiday luggage and devoting yourself to The Kills for a few days. Like all the best thrillers, it takes you on a hell of a ride'
Daily Telegraph

'Prepare to be dazzled by this monumental novel ... a true achievement. House's sea of words relentlessly interrogates his themes through action and dialogue, leaving his reader washed up on a faraway shore, dazed yet exhilarated'
Sunday Times

'Richard House has written a gripping, hallucinogenic -- and enormous -- novel that deals with the aftermath of the Iraq conflict ... The [enhanced] digital edition is far and away the better way to read this novel; the first two books in particular are augmented by a series of short films embedded on the page, often with text overlaid, as well as animations and audio clips. For example, listening to the phone messages left by one character's mother as she tries to cajole him into contacting her, before she understands that he is in danger, adds an emotional jolt to the text. Throughout, the simple yet elegant enhancements work to take us beyond the page, adding depth and texture to the story. This is the first time I've read a digital edition of a primarily text-based novel where I've thought: yes, this works ... House's writing is spare and compelling, and the digital edition is truly enriched by the additional media'

'They [the Man Booker 2013 judges] outdo themselves in choosing an astounding sequence by Richard House in The Kills, four consecutive novels amounting to 300,000 words or more. This is a thrilling, overwhelming ride, starting from a brilliant North by North-West-ish donnee: an official working in the Gulf under a false name on a questionable project is asked to disappear quietly for a couple of hundred thousand and quickly finds himself the fall-guy for a missing $53 million. Astonishing for its scale and drive, it is released in a number of digital formats as well as an immense hardback. It is full of lucid action, drifting contemplation, apparent dead-ends, confusion and thuggish explosions. I could not wait to get back to it when reading it, and House is probably this year's major reinventor of the possibilities of the genre: the leap into the present tense at the three-quarter stage shows a novelist in full command of his technical possibilities ... one you ought to read'
Philip Hensher, Spectator

'majestic ... brilliantly realised characters'
Telegraph top 10 summer reads 2013

'Richard House's Man Booker-longlisted novel stands out from the pile ... an ambitious and complex meta-thriller that spins its many stories like plates, tantalising you at every turn ... a page turner ... and a book absolutely to be read twice over.'

'Thrilling ... explores the multimedia possibilities of the modern book'

About the Author

Richard House is an author, film maker, artist and university lecturer. As well as the digital-first novel The Kills, he has written two previous novels (Bruiser and Uninvited), which were published by Serpent's Tail in the 1990s. He is a member of the Chicago-based collaborative Haha. He is the editor of a digital magazine, Fatboy Review: www.fatboyreview.net

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Richard House

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