Meet Steven Stelfox. London 1997: New Labour is sweeping into power and Britpop is at its zenith. A&R man Stelfox is slashing and burning his way through the music industry, fuelled by greed and inhuman quantities of cocaine, searching for the next hit record amid a relentless orgy of self-gratification. But as the hits dry up and the industry begins to change, Stelfox must take the notion of cut throat business practices to murderous new levels in a desperate attempt to salvage his career.
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John Niven was born in Irvine, Ayrshire. He is the author of the novella Music from Big Pink and the novels Kill Your Friends, The Amateurs, The Second Coming, Cold Hands, Straight White Male and The Sunshine Cruise Company.From Booklist:
This debut novel takes a withering look at the British music business in the late 1990s, during the hedonistic last gasp of a dying industry. Steven Stelfox is an A & R man with a major label who is desperately searching for his next hit—when he isn’t inhaling Bloody Marys, doing massive quantities of cocaine, or watching porn. He’s all but given up on the angry black rapper Rage, who is working on his “concept” album; instead, he’s focused on a group of Spice Girls wannabes, “the worst sort of sink-estate, single-mother, benefit-fraud trash imaginable.” And their music? “The biggest insult to humanity since a roomful of Nazis first cooed over the blueprints for Auschwitz.” Contemptuous of musicians, the public, and, most of all, any colleagues who show signs of working hard, Steven prepares to save himself with a murderously ambitious plan to be named the head of A & R. Niven, who spent 10 years working in the music industry, uses his insider knowledge and a racist, misogynistic lead character to produce a very dark, viciously funny novel. --Joanne Wilkinson
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