A bold and brilliant debut from a darkly funny new voice.
Oskar is a minimalist composer best known for a piece called Variations on Tram Timetables. He is married to a Californian art dealer named Laura and he lives with two cats, named after Russian composers, in an Eastern European city. But this book isn't really about Oskar. Oskar is in Los Angeles, having his marriage dismantled by lawyers. He has entrusted an old university friend with the task of looking after his cats, and taking care of his perfect, beautiful apartment.
Despite the fact that Oskar has left dozens of surreally detailed notes covering every aspect of looking after the flat, things do not go well.
Care of Wooden Floors is about how a tiny oversight can trip off a disastrous and farcical (fatal, even) chain of consequences. It's about a friendship between two men who don't know each other very well. It's about alienation and being alone in a foreign city. It's about the quest for perfection and the struggle against entropy. And it is, a little, about how to take care of wooden floors.
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Radio 4 Book at Bedtime
‘Funny and richly poetic…a surreal, farcical, original first novel’ The Times Books of the Year
‘A very funny novel combining schadenfreude and belly laughs. Just don’t let Wiles flat-sit for you.’ Independent
‘This is a terrific first novel, written with a very engaging deadpan wit, and an understated sense of the absurd.’ Kate Saunders, The Times
‘ingenious…his story has something in common, in terms of manic sensitivity, with Edgar Allan Poes’ The Tell-Tale Heart…[with] deft and precise descriptive asides. This is 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.’ TLS
“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
‘A novel about minimalism and chaos, which reveals more about the interaction of architecture and life than many an earnest treatise. If you want above all a good read, get this one.’ Guardian Best Architecture Books of the Year
‘Highly idiosyncratic, well-written, with a vivid sense of place – compelling.’ Michael Frayn
‘Care of Wooden Floors is a wonderful work. Precisely constructed, with an eye that sees in between the everyday spaces of our lives, it sheds new light, not only on ourselves, but on the contemporary novel itself.’ Lee Rourke, author of The Canal
‘The novel’s strength lies in Wiles’s wry depiction of the battle between chaos and order.’ Sunday Times
‘entertainingly conjure[s] up a life lived through aesthetics’ Art Review
‘Wiles is a talent to watch’ The Spectator
‘Compelling’ Independent on SundayAbout the Author:
Will Wiles is an architecture and design journalist. He lives in London.
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Book Description William Collins, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Bookseller Inventory # CHL1257410
Book Description William Collins, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Very Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. Though second-hand, the book is still in very good shape. Minimal signs of usage may include very minor creasing on the cover or on the spine. Bookseller Inventory # CHL1482032
Book Description HarperPress, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001707023
Book Description HarperPress, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # mon0002129648
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2012. Book Condition: Very Good. First Edition. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP69886810
Book Description William Collins 02/02/2012, 2012. Book Condition: used-good. - GREAT BOOK IN GOOD OR BETTER CONDITION, NORMALLY SENT SAME DAY FROM WAREHOUSE. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780007424436
Book Description William Collins 02/02/2012, 2012. Book Condition: Good. This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780007424436
Book Description William Collins 02/02/2012, 2012. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780007424436
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