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  • White Rabbit

Kitchenly 434

Alan Warner

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

Remains of the Day with cocaine and amplifiers; a deceptively quiet and ridiculously well-written novel about how men age and refuse to grow up and the tragic consequences of that

Kitchenly 434 is set in a sprawling Tudorbethan mansion in Sussex, Kitchenly Mill Race, on the cusp of the arrival of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister. In some ways, the last days of an Age of Innocence.

Marko Morrell, guitarist in Fear Taker, is one of the biggest rock stars in the world. His demanding lifestyle means he is frequently in absentia at Kitchenly, his idyllic country retreat, and so it is his butler (or 'help'), Crofton Park, who is charged with the maintenance and housekeeping. When, one day, two young girls arrive looking for Marko clutching their copies of Fear Taker LPs, Crofton finds himself on a romantic misadventure which leads to the tragi-comic unravelling of the fantasies he has been living by.

A novel about delusional male behaviour, opening and closing curtains, self-awareness, loneliness and 'getting it together in the country', Kitchenly 434 is a magnificent novel about the Golden Age of Rock in the bucolic English countryside.

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