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A darkly enchanting tale set in Seattle in the 1990s – the fictional life of Kurt Cobain’s childhood imaginary friend...
As a little boy, Kurt would insist that his mother set a place at the table for ‘Boddah’, his imaginary friend.
Two decades later and the rock star Kurt Cobain is found dead from a gunshot wound to the head. Beside his body is a note – addressed to Boddah.
Tommaso Pincio gives life to Boddah and conjures up a darkly beautiful coming-of-age novel, set against the rainy backdrop of Grunge America in the early 1990s...
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‘A delightfully quirky modern parable about a lonely insomniac, Homer B Alienson, who turns out to be the imaginary childhood friend of the young Kurt Cobain. Troubled by the question of love and what exactly it might be, Homer embarks on a surreal adventure across America. Seamlessly translated from the Italian by Jon Hunt, this is a smart, funny and philosophical look at love and what it means to be understood.’ Observer
‘You read this book in a trance, and finishing it is like waking on a cold hillside after a lavish dream...This novel, Pincio’s first to appear in English, should be read for the weirdness of its vision. “Love-Shaped Story” is as dark and desperate as Cobain's lyrics – something of which Pincio must be proud.’ Daily Telegraph
‘For those who love the American writer Chuck Palahniuk, or for those who revere Russia's Victor Pelevin, Tommaso Pincio will come as a revelation.’ Financial Times
‘Beautifully evoking the despair of rain-drenched, redneck Aberdeen, Washington, “Love-Shaped Story” captures the boredom that propelled Cobain’s creativity and self-destructive despair.’ Q Magazine
‘Powerful...a brilliant dissection of the psychological diseases that plague the modern mind...Needless to say, this mixture of fact and fiction, especially involving such a well-loved deceased figure, is troubling, but this sort of risk is exactly what the modern novelist needs to be attempting if the form is to remain strong.’ Matt Thorne, ZemblaFrom the Publisher:
'Sometime on or before the afternoon of April 5, 1994, Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, barricaded himself in the room above the garage of his Seattle home by propping a stool against the door, and killed himself with a single shot to the head. He wrote a one-page note in red ink, addressing it to 'Boddah', his childhood imaginary friend...' (taken from a Cobain web 'shrine')
It is a rainy day in Aberdeen, a small logging town near Seattle, sometime in the early 1990s. Homer 'Boda' Alienson, a loner who earns his living by selling by mail order the enormous quantity of toys he collected in his childhood, is suddenly struck by a question which seems to come from nowhere: 'What about love?' Homer has always lived a life apart. He would far rather go on spending his days as he usually does: avoiding his customers' correspondence, watching Twin Peaks, and strolling through woods that smell of rain. But the question becomes insistent, and avoiding it becomes impossible. But how does one go about having a love affair? Homer doesn't even know how to begin.
What's more, ever since childhood he has been convinced that the entire population of Aberdeen, including his mother, is possessed by bodysnatchers that are human only in appearance, 'different' beings from which he tried to protect himself by never going to sleep for twenty years: that is, until the day he meets a boy called Kurt loafing about under the bridges. It is Kurt who reveals to him the 'way' to sleep: heroin, nirvana. Now Homer is hooked on drugs, but he still has the strength to search for love; and in the wide open spaces of America he will find a love that suits him, an other-worldly love, fit for a boy who has always felt himself to be somehow alien to the world around him...
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