The first bullet entered the body of my ex-girlfriend - gorgeous, slightly-famous Lily - two inches beneath her left breast. We were sitting at a table in Le Corbusier, Frith Street, Soho. As the first bullet went into her, I turned to look at the gunman. Wearing Day-Glo Lycra, a helmet, mirror shades and a pollution-mask - just like a bike courier - he had a black and silver gun in his hand. And he was shooting the woman I still loved...
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Toby Litt's third book is all bullet entry wounds, violent emotion and forensic detail. Corpsing works as a deconstructed literary thriller, a very knowing examination of the pathology of the genre. It starts off in the traditional way, with a death. Jean Luc Godard said 'all you need for a good story is a girl and a gun.' In Corpsing the girl is Lily, a beautiful actress and the ex-girlfriend of Conrad, the narrator. The gun is in the hands of an assassin, dressed in bike courier clothing who looks like "a vision of the future--a future where everyone is concerned with keeping their bodies fit and dodging between fast new technologies of damage." He fires at Lily and Conrad as they eat dinner at fashionable Le Corbusier, a restaurant which resembles an autopsy room in the morgue: "the tables are a frosty-looking aluminium, the walls are half mirror, half stainless steel". Six bullets later and the damage is done, Lily is dead and Conrad is nearly so.
The dissection really begins when Conrad comes out of hospital and begins investigating Lily's murder, his own near miss. The plot unfolds in short, sharp chapters, keen as knives. Toby Litt uses Conrad to provide an extra twist to the usual serpentine story. He has a morbid interest in the clinical details of the results of his injuries. He, like Litt, is very aware of the etiquette of cool violence, a cultural culling that takes in J F K succumbing to the "magic bullet", Bonnie and Clyde, The Godfather, and, of course, Reservoir Dogs. Corpsing is an interesting critique of our fondness for violence and death as entertainment, while cunningly providing us with all the gory details, the damage done. Clever, but a little soulless. --Eithne FarryFrom the Publisher:
CORPSING HAS ALREADY WON HUGE ACCLAIM
'Toby Litt is a really good writer. He will have you speeding through his latest - a noirish tale of murder, sex, revenge and adultery.' Time Out
'A thriller for our times, modern, sexy, full of twists and wickedly funny. Litt takes no hostages and he writes brilliantly...Corpsing is impressive.' Daily Mail
'a great evening in. Open the Chardonnay and let Litt take you on a thrilling ride from his Mortlake flat to the gents of a gangster pub in Bermondsey.' Observer
'Litt, one of the foremost young lions of British hip-lit, has a genuine appetite for pulp, and pulls off a remarkable crime debut which puts many veteran crimesters to shame...Corpsing has all the hallmarks of a cult book.' Guardian
'The screen rights to this devastatingly enjoyable novel have already been sold, and I cannot wait for the movie (Ewan McGregor and Jane Horrocks are my nominees for the roles.)' Daily Telegraph
'A chic, sharp shock of a thriller.' She
'Imaginative, eloquent and with an ear for the nuances of life, Toby Litt has produced a genuine page-turner of a thriller.' Daily Mirror
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140285776
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140285776
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2000. Book Condition: NEW. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140285772