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An ambitious fiction debut filled with lust, longing, and moral depravity.
The tales in Too Beautiful for You, Rod Liddle’s dazzling debut, sweep readers into the lives of characters whose sexual frustrations and deviant desires lead them to the very edge of acceptable behavior—and sometimes way beyond.
In a mischievous, macabre tale about a man who loses his arm in an accident on the way back from an assignation, Liddle shows just how far a husband will go to hide his infidelity from his wife. Another philandering husband, operating much closer to home, doesn’t let fleeting pangs of guilt curtail his hunger for the sexual treats proffered by his mother-in-law. Bizarre happenings are not confined to the sexually adventuresome: one woman notices that her skin is hardening into a sort of insect carapace after she uses a depilatory gel; a suicide bomber is forced to acknowledge his abysmal failure as a terrorist when he tries to blow up a Jewish art gallery with a package of trout; and a man planning to jump out a window finds some of his colleagues all too ready to assist him.
Liddle presents his panoply of misfits and miscreants without passing judgment. The passions they harbor and the acts they commit may be shocking and scandalous, but Liddle shows that these hapless men and women are not so very different from the rest of us. Sharp-witted, sexy, and psychologically astute, Too Beautiful for You breaks through literary and social taboos with style and humor, reminiscent of the early work of Martin Amis.
“Perverse and somewhat depraved, Rod Liddle’s fiction is a sexy but not too beautiful montage of what happens when people succumb to their urges and fantasies without considering the consequences." —James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces
“Exuberant, witty, clever . . . quite brilliant . . . a formidable talent.” —The Daily Telegraph
“Crude, entertaining, sex-obsessed, well-briefed, highly competent and energetic.” —Evening Standard (London)
“The jokes are crisp, the prose is intelligent, the comic energy a potent mixture of satire and furious yet restrained snarling . . . the stories are immensely readable and entertaining.” —The Times (London)
“These are burstingly funny stories, tapping straight into the heart of our worst urban hypocrisies and self-delusions . . . Liddle has given me a very good time.”
—Jonathan Myerson for the The Independent on Sunday
“An amazing debut collection: surreal, outrageous stories that are only just within the bounds of good taste, but keenly perceptive and laugh-out-loud funny.” —The Bookseller
“This is a book to relish—devastating social satire delivered with considerable style.” —Daily Mail
“Ingeniously sordid.” —Liverpool Daily Post