Straight White Male Kindle ã Straight White PDF/EPUB

Straight White Male Kindle ã Straight White PDF/EPUB


    Load results Apple Footer Apple Support on his bespoke heels However, as he acclimatizes to the quaint campus Kennedy is forced to reconsider his laddish lifestyle Incredible as it may seem, there might actually be a father and a teacher lurking inside this preening, narcissistic, priapic sociopathRAIGHT WHITE MALE is a wildly funny and whip smart tale of Kennedy s transatlantic misadventures It s an uninhibited and heartfelt look at the mid life crisis of a lovable rogue."/>
  • Paperback
  • 384 pages
  • Straight White Male
  • John Niven
  • 05 September 2017
  • 0802123031

10 thoughts on “Straight White Male

  1. Sam Quixote Sam Quixote says:

    Imagine you re having a nice drink in a bar Then an utterly wasted middle aged man staggers over to you, purple nose with cracked veins, face so red it looks about to explode at a moment s notice, reeking of alcohol He sits next to you heavily and proceeds to tell you details of his life you don t want to know in an extremely loud voice, details that comprise his sex life and his drug and alcohol intake, all of which he is very proud of Then imagine, as you try to leave, that you can t and th Imagine you re having a nice drink in a bar Then an utterly wasted middle aged man staggers over to you, purple nose with cracked veins, face so red it looks about to explode at a moment s notice, reeking of alcohol He sits next to you heavily and proceeds to tell you details of his life you don t want to know in an extremely loud voice, details that comprise his sex life and his drug and alcohol intake, all of which he is very proud of Then imagine, as you try to leave, that you can t and that you and this drunk are now tethered together for the rest of the evening, which means you have to endure his tedious drivel for a fewhours before you re free Now imagine that drunk is this book John Niven s latest novel Straight White Male is the story of Kennedy Marr, a bestselling novelist who has become a highly paid screenwriter and script doctor living in Los Angeles Middle aged and single, Kennedy is enjoying his sybaritic Hollywood lifestyle, sleeping with many beautiful women, ingesting copious amounts of alcohol and drugs, and getting paid large amounts of money for minimal writing effort And then he receives his tax bill It seems he owes the IRS 1 million money that he doesn t have But when he is awarded a prestigious literary honour for his novels back in Britain, he learns that if he accepts the award he will receive 500,000 tax free with a catch he must teach for a full school year at the university Straight White Male SWM pretends to be a satire about Hollywood and academia and fails miserably on both First of all, these aren t exactly the hardest subjects to lampoon Hollywood is such a bizarre and ridiculous place to start with that a satire feels pointless and that a simple non fictional look at how studios work would yieldamusing results And academia has been satirised by David Lodge and Malcolm Bradbury so successfully that there isn t muchto make fun of as SWM shows The Hollywood targets are easy and unsurprising vain, superficial starlets, handsome leading men who re secretly gay, bloviating self important producers and directors, every single one of them utterly pretentious On the academic side we have snobbish literary teachers writing esoteric long winded essays about an insignificant detail in an obscure novel What does Niven have to say about Hollywood A ludicrously wealthy playground full of childish personalities without an ounce of artistic integrity About academia Full of boring people taking the joy out of art and reducing creativity to a series of clinical exercises that don t work In other words, he has nothing to say that hasn t been said before, better The real point of the book is to act as a soapbox for Niven to play wish fulfilment via Kennedy Kennedy Marr is a middle aged novelist who also makes a lot of money screenwriting This apparently makes him James Bond, minus the licence to kill Everywhere he goes women are throwing themselves at him He can t go to the toilet without some young twentysomething following him, ready to throw off her small dress and slop around in the stalls with him He s constantly boozing, doing drugs, but always manages to appear ravishing to women despite the damage such a lifestyle would do especially to a 40 something who does no exercise Occasionally he tosses off a few words, gets handed wads of cash, and he saunters off to continue his manboy activities Farannoying than the poor characterisation of Kennedy or anyone is the flimsy plot Normally there is conflict in a story to give it some drama, and to make said conflictsinteresting, there has to be stakes This book contains a few obstacles, some conflict, for Kennedy to overcome, which he does far too easily, but minus the stakes Because no matter what happens in this story, everything always works out for Kennedy Money problems that screenplay work won t solve No matter, somehow an institution in England is willing to pay you huge sums of money to show up at their university Headbutt a rich businessman on a flight to the UK No matter because charges won t be pressed and the headlines make you, and the university,famous Curse out the star of the movie Without lifting a finger, all will be forgiven and your status will be further enhanced for being real There are supposed problems at the start of the book where Kennedy is behind on several scripts, which Niven attempts to make seem an impossible task, but when push comes to shove, Kennedy writes them all in a couple of paragraphs There areexamples of non conflict being resolved in an impossibly simple way, especially the ending, but I won t spoil those here Suffice it to say, Kennedy gets what he wants very, very easily whether he tries or not With no real problems for our protagonist, and no real story, all that s left is Niven s snide and tiresome remarks about whatever s on his mind to fill out the rest of the nearly 400 page novel and unfortunately Niven has nothing interesting to say The novel makes some awkward gear changes as it shifts from Kennedy s adult holiday and laughalong at Hollywood academia, to real life It s as if Niven realised Kennedy was completely unlikable or maybe too much of a caricature even for a supposed satire and attempted to make him sympathetic by showing his family s problems There s his dead junkie sister Gerry whom we learn about through flashbacks and Kennedy s guilt at his lavish ways compared to the poverty that his sister resided in, and his lack of intervention that led to her premature death in her early 30s There s his dying mother whom he can t bring himself to visit while his understanding social worker brother Patrick looks after her as she wastes away, pining for her Kennedy It s such a badly misjudged inclusion in this novel that spends so long celebrating Kennedy for his bad boy behaviour that any attempt at humanity falls completely flat But the ending to the novel is spectacularly awful After failing to establish a legitimate love interest in one of Kennedy s students but going for the heartbroken angle for his protagonist anyway, Niven then has Kennedy learn some bad news leading to a decision to off himself He wanders the streets of London, reciting poetry to himself, wallowing in nostalgia This sickeningly sentimental and self indulgent sequence goes on for 30 pages and it s utterly unbearable to read Just when you re wishing that he d just kill himself already, he launches into another rose tinted memory that the reader has to suffer through to get to the next tedious memory And the ending itself well, it s a slap in the face to anyone thinking that this is a book for grown ups Straight White Male is a satire absolutely devoid of anything to say and spends a long time saying it It s a boring novel full of lazy writing, cliches, stereotypical characters, and a smirking attitude that believes will cause readers to overlook everything else Like the dinosaur on the cover, here s hoping childish stories about overprivileged, self entitled manbabies become extinct, and Niven actually makes an effort for his next novel


  2. Elise (TheBookishActress) Elise (TheBookishActress) says:

    am I hallucinating or is this actually a book title


  3. Casey Casey says:

    John Niven is an expert at writing deplorable, hedonistic main characters except, well, Jesus Kennedy here is no exception, ignoring his family and obligations in order to snort, drink, and fuck his way through the entirety of Hollywood He s smart, a bit sadistic, and certainly lacking in self awareness When the tides turn against him and they do they do so slowly, events conspiring in such a delicious manner because you want Kennedy to be a better person and don t mind relishing in a bit John Niven is an expert at writing deplorable, hedonistic main characters except, well, Jesus Kennedy here is no exception, ignoring his family and obligations in order to snort, drink, and fuck his way through the entirety of Hollywood He s smart, a bit sadistic, and certainly lacking in self awareness When the tides turn against him and they do they do so slowly, events conspiring in such a delicious manner because you want Kennedy to be a better person and don t mind relishing in a bit of his pain The funny turns serious, and you may find yourself wiping at your eyes because it s just allergies, really, fucking allergies Sometimes authors writing about writers can be tedious this is not the case here Bravo


  4. Callum Jacobs Callum Jacobs says:

    This is a book whose beauty lies in creating a character who is totally, almost unbelievably terrible as a human really, an absolute platinum lined shitball and yet somehow sympathetic Kennedy Marr is rude, self absorbed, unreliable and from the opening chapter clearly on a fast track to self destruction, but you know what I really liked him And that s not because I am also a shitball, honestly, it s because Niven s writing is clever and funny and honest Mostly though it is funny laugh o This is a book whose beauty lies in creating a character who is totally, almost unbelievably terrible as a human really, an absolute platinum lined shitball and yet somehow sympathetic Kennedy Marr is rude, self absorbed, unreliable and from the opening chapter clearly on a fast track to self destruction, but you know what I really liked him And that s not because I am also a shitball, honestly, it s because Niven s writing is clever and funny and honest Mostly though it is funny laugh out loud on the bus funny.Fan s of the US TV show Californication will know the territory here well successful, charming but deeply flawed writer makes it big in Hollywood and has trouble keep himself on the straight and narrow In fact he seems to have abandoned any attempt to stay on the highway at all and has gone off road in a massive diesel powered four by four, ploughing up the grass verge and driving over bunny rabbits as he goes There are drugs, sex, fights, preposterous behaviour in upscale environments I think this may have been the part the just made Marr so likeable despite his many, many faults and bad decision after bad decision Hollywood and the writing trade come in for some sharply observed abuse Niven clearlythan a little familiar with this world and the story builds pace nicely to it s denouement There are touches of genuine pathos as Marr begins to recognise that his trail of destruction has created some real casualties, most notably his teenage daughter, and the end, when it comes has a nice little twist.I am delighted to have come across Niven and have already torn through Kill Your Friends Now the central character in that one makes Kennedy Marr seem like a goddam monk


  5. Ray Ray says:

    Kennedy Marr, erstwhile bestselling author, is a successful Hollywood screenwriter Lazy, offensive and narcissistic, he is an alcoholic and a compulsive womaniser barmaids, starlets, TV producers and most memorably his wife s best friend at his own wedding He is not choosy.An unlikely set of events sends him back to a university in England lured there by a massive tax free payment to be a visiting professor of creative writing for a year To complicate matters his ex wife is a lecturer t Kennedy Marr, erstwhile bestselling author, is a successful Hollywood screenwriter Lazy, offensive and narcissistic, he is an alcoholic and a compulsive womaniser barmaids, starlets, TV producers and most memorably his wife s best friend at his own wedding He is not choosy.An unlikely set of events sends him back to a university in England lured there by a massive tax free payment to be a visiting professor of creative writing for a year To complicate matters his ex wife is a lecturer there too Oh, and by the way his mother is dying This book is acerbic, profane, disgusting, funny we see Marr stagger from bar to bar and woman to woman, getting into fights and on to the front pages of the tabloids Not a role model for his 16 year old daughter.I liked the pace of the book, its references to music and films from my youth and its many laugh out loud moments my favourite being a passage where a drunken Marr calculates that in the past thirty years he had spent over a thousand hours challenging himself, during which time he could have written a couple of books.There are a few sad moments too, and some fleeting glimpses of past tragedy.Worth a read


  6. Pippa Pippa says:

    What an incredible book A beautifully written, clever, funny and deeply disturbing book that will grab hold and stay with you Niven is as funny as ever but this novel has a distinctly grown up feel about it compared to his others Cold Hands aside What starts out as entertaining quickly gets dark, and then very dark Yet within even the rawest moments, there are still moments of pure comedic genius and you can t help but laugh despite everything that is happening Equally there are moments o What an incredible book A beautifully written, clever, funny and deeply disturbing book that will grab hold and stay with you Niven is as funny as ever but this novel has a distinctly grown up feel about it compared to his others Cold Hands aside What starts out as entertaining quickly gets dark, and then very dark Yet within even the rawest moments, there are still moments of pure comedic genius and you can t help but laugh despite everything that is happening Equally there are moments of complete horror that just stay with you I don t want to give anything away because this is one of those books you just have to pick up and read don t bother with the blurb, just throw yourself into it


  7. Robin Robin says:

    Gave this five stars simply because I enjoyed it so much I laughed and chortled all the way through Irish screenwriter Kennedy Marr lives the high life in Hollywood rich, extravagant, boozed, drugged and sex up to the eyeballs He s a rogue, but he s also clever, educated, funny and brilliant company He leaps off the page and seems like a great guy to meet in a bar He is, however, having doubts about his life his many betrayals of his wives and girlfriends, mother, brother and sister He Gave this five stars simply because I enjoyed it so much I laughed and chortled all the way through Irish screenwriter Kennedy Marr lives the high life in Hollywood rich, extravagant, boozed, drugged and sex up to the eyeballs He s a rogue, but he s also clever, educated, funny and brilliant company He leaps off the page and seems like a great guy to meet in a bar He is, however, having doubts about his life his many betrayals of his wives and girlfriends, mother, brother and sister He s been selfish and thoughtless and he knows it Will he change, will he kill himself, or will the growth on his penis claim him A rich ride that fizzes along with outrageous humour and wonderful writing


  8. Terri Terri says:

    Review also found at received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Grove Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review The expected publication date is October 7, 2014.This story provided quite the food for thought for me The character of Kennedy was perhaps the most unlikeable, self indulgent, self centered, egotistical narcissistic character I have ever read I simply hated him The problem is he was meant to be and this is where Review also found at received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Grove Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review The expected publication date is October 7, 2014.This story provided quite the food for thought for me The character of Kennedy was perhaps the most unlikeable, self indulgent, self centered, egotistical narcissistic character I have ever read I simply hated him The problem is he was meant to be and this is where I struggled Alas what is one to do Carry on with an open mind and read the story.There were moments of humour throughout the story One example that comes to mind is the fight on the plane I also highly enjoyed the moments where Kennedy went head to head with Drummond and literally got in his head If he wasof a likeable character I would have been cheering him on as he one upped him.There were also moments of sadness when Kennedy is remembering his sister This gives a complex view in to the many layers of Kennedy beyond just the repulsive womanizing jerk he is Also the scenes with his mother are touching and show just how damaged he is.I believe this is a story about redemption however I have to admit I am not really sure it occurs In Kennedy, Niven created a character that was so far gone and self absorbed that I almost didn t want redemption I wanted him to succumb to his self destructive ways.This is not going to be a story for everyone There is a lot of excessive profanity and sexual content references I for one found it to be too much however I can also see how some may enjoy the humour buried in the pages It is always difficult to decide how you feel about a book when the main character is purposefully written to be so obnoxious While I can appreciate some aspects to the book it really wasn t for me That being said I urge others to form their own opinions on this work as it really is all about personal taste


  9. Aisling Aisling says:

    This is not going to be for everyone and the first 50 pages or so are tough to get through until you realize where the author is going But stick with it and then wow A great story and absolutely stunning writing Bring onNiven


  10. Charles Harris Charles Harris says:

    How do you succeed in creating a difficult central character, indeed a quite obnoxious one, and yet persuade your readers to fall in love with him John Niven provides a textbook example in this scintillating, very funny and ultimately surprisingly moving satire, the story of a Falstaffian Irish screenwriter, mired in his own deep flaws.Kennedy Marr is no pale genius blushing unseen He fully admits that he s sold out, promising himself that he ll tell philistine producers where to go, but const How do you succeed in creating a difficult central character, indeed a quite obnoxious one, and yet persuade your readers to fall in love with him John Niven provides a textbook example in this scintillating, very funny and ultimately surprisingly moving satire, the story of a Falstaffian Irish screenwriter, mired in his own deep flaws.Kennedy Marr is no pale genius blushing unseen He fully admits that he s sold out, promising himself that he ll tell philistine producers where to go, but constantly taking the money instead And even if he s hard drinking, dysfunctional and a disaster with money and personal relationships, he s good at his job Now, however, having spent evenmoney than the large amounts he s earned, he is forced to take a commission which involves ruining the edit of one of the best movies he s ever seen, while teaching in a university alongside his scathingly estranged ex wife.So how on earth does Niven get us to care about, even love, this horrendous car crash of a man His techniques are instructive for all writers.One, he gives Marr a full armoury of strengths Marr is witty, acute, intelligent, a better observer of people than any of the others around him and his own worst critic And he s brave He says and does the kind of things we dream of saying and doing, but don t dare And we always admire that.Two, Niven ensures Marr is in pain He may be difficult and self centred, but he truly suffers Most of all, he realises that we all die Worse, we die whether we are good at our jobs or bad, whether we are perfect husbands and fathers, or complete failures There is no escape.Three, the other characters pale by comparison from his acerbic intellectual wife to his ghastly but strangely charismatic Hollywood producer, to the jealous rival professor whose single highbrow novel sounds like hell on paper Four, all the characters and settings are rounded and credible, even when being sent up Just when you think Niven has pushed his luck too far, he veers away from the cliff edge and keeps it real What you gradually realise spoiler alert is that Niven has broken the cardinal rule of character Marr has no journey As a reader, you are waiting for the moment when things get so bad that he s forced to face his flaws The running joke of this big shaggy dog yarn is that he never does Every time Marr is about to fail, something good happens to him He s like the cartoon character who is always being killed and yet always lives He s incorrigible And we start to love him for it.Of course, if you don t get the joke, then you may grow impatient with the story Once you twig, however, you find you re just enjoying the roller coaster ride Waiting to see just how close Marr can come to disaster and yet still come up smiling, preferably in a five star restaurant with a glass in his hand.It s a risky book for that reason, but great fun I ve wanted to read John Niven for some time now, since I heard he s one of the rare British writers working with satire Now I have, I m going to be reading and learning


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Straight White Male❰Read❯ ➲ Straight White Male Author John Niven – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Irish novelist Kennedy Marr is a first rate bad boy When he is not earning a fortune as one of Hollywood s most sought after script writers, he is drinking, insulting and philandering his way through Irish novelist Kennedy Marr is a first rate bad boy When he is not earning a fortune as one of Hollywood s most sought after script writers, he is drinking, insulting and philandering his way through LA, successfully debunking the myth that men are unable to multitask He is loved by many women, but loathed by even including ex wives on both sides of the pondKennedy s appetite for trouble is insatiable, but when he discovers that he owesmillion dollars in back taxes, it seems his outrageous, hedonistic lifestyle may not be as sustainable Straight White PDF/EPUB ² as he thought Forced to accept a teaching position at sleepy Deeping University, where his ex wife and teenaged daughter now reside, Kennedy returns to England with a paper trail of tabloid headlines and scorned starlets hot on his bespoke heels However, as he acclimatizes to the quaint campus Kennedy is forced to reconsider his laddish lifestyle Incredible as it may seem, there might actually be a father and a teacher lurking inside this preening, narcissistic, priapic sociopathRAIGHT WHITE MALE is a wildly funny and whip smart tale of Kennedy s transatlantic misadventures It s an uninhibited and heartfelt look at the mid life crisis of a lovable rogue.


About the Author: John Niven

Born in Irvine, Ayrshire, Niven read English Literature at Glasgow University, graduating in with First Class honours For the next ten years, he worked for a variety of record companies, including London Records and Independiente He left the music industry to write full time in and published his debut novella Music from Big Pink in Continuum Press The novella was optioned for the screen by CC Films with a script has been written by English playwright Jez Butterworth Niven s breakthrough novel Kill Your Friends is a satire of the music Straight White PDF/EPUB ² business, based on his brief career in AR, during which he passed up the chance to sign Coldplay and Muse The novel was published by William Heinemann in and achieved much acclaim, with Word magazine describing it as possibly the best British Novel since Trainspotting It has been translated into seven languages and was a bestseller in Britain and Germany Niven has since published The Amateurs , The Second Coming , Cold Hands and Straight White Male He also writes original screenplays with writing partner Nick Ball, the younger brother of British TV presenter Zo Ball His journalistic contributions to newspapers and magazines include a monthly column for Q magazine, entitled London Kills Me In Niven wrote a controversial article for The Independent newspaper where he attacked the media s largely complacent coverage of Michael Jackson s deathNiven lives in Buckinghamshire with his fiancee and infant daughter He has a teenage son from a previous marriage.


10 thoughts on “Straight White Male

  1. Sam Quixote Sam Quixote says:

    Imagine you re having a nice drink in a bar Then an utterly wasted middle aged man staggers over to you, purple nose with cracked veins, face so red it looks about to explode at a moment s notice, reeking of alcohol He sits next to you heavily and proceeds to tell you details of his life you don t want to know in an extremely loud voice, details that comprise his sex life and his drug and alcohol intake, all of which he is very proud of Then imagine, as you try to leave, that you can t and th Imagine you re having a nice drink in a bar Then an utterly wasted middle aged man staggers over to you, purple nose with cracked veins, face so red it looks about to explode at a moment s notice, reeking of alcohol He sits next to you heavily and proceeds to tell you details of his life you don t want to know in an extremely loud voice, details that comprise his sex life and his drug and alcohol intake, all of which he is very proud of Then imagine, as you try to leave, that you can t and that you and this drunk are now tethered together for the rest of the evening, which means you have to endure his tedious drivel for a fewhours before you re free Now imagine that drunk is this book John Niven s latest novel Straight White Male is the story of Kennedy Marr, a bestselling novelist who has become a highly paid screenwriter and script doctor living in Los Angeles Middle aged and single, Kennedy is enjoying his sybaritic Hollywood lifestyle, sleeping with many beautiful women, ingesting copious amounts of alcohol and drugs, and getting paid large amounts of money for minimal writing effort And then he receives his tax bill It seems he owes the IRS 1 million money that he doesn t have But when he is awarded a prestigious literary honour for his novels back in Britain, he learns that if he accepts the award he will receive 500,000 tax free with a catch he must teach for a full school year at the university Straight White Male SWM pretends to be a satire about Hollywood and academia and fails miserably on both First of all, these aren t exactly the hardest subjects to lampoon Hollywood is such a bizarre and ridiculous place to start with that a satire feels pointless and that a simple non fictional look at how studios work would yieldamusing results And academia has been satirised by David Lodge and Malcolm Bradbury so successfully that there isn t muchto make fun of as SWM shows The Hollywood targets are easy and unsurprising vain, superficial starlets, handsome leading men who re secretly gay, bloviating self important producers and directors, every single one of them utterly pretentious On the academic side we have snobbish literary teachers writing esoteric long winded essays about an insignificant detail in an obscure novel What does Niven have to say about Hollywood A ludicrously wealthy playground full of childish personalities without an ounce of artistic integrity About academia Full of boring people taking the joy out of art and reducing creativity to a series of clinical exercises that don t work In other words, he has nothing to say that hasn t been said before, better The real point of the book is to act as a soapbox for Niven to play wish fulfilment via Kennedy Kennedy Marr is a middle aged novelist who also makes a lot of money screenwriting This apparently makes him James Bond, minus the licence to kill Everywhere he goes women are throwing themselves at him He can t go to the toilet without some young twentysomething following him, ready to throw off her small dress and slop around in the stalls with him He s constantly boozing, doing drugs, but always manages to appear ravishing to women despite the damage such a lifestyle would do especially to a 40 something who does no exercise Occasionally he tosses off a few words, gets handed wads of cash, and he saunters off to continue his manboy activities Farannoying than the poor characterisation of Kennedy or anyone is the flimsy plot Normally there is conflict in a story to give it some drama, and to make said conflictsinteresting, there has to be stakes This book contains a few obstacles, some conflict, for Kennedy to overcome, which he does far too easily, but minus the stakes Because no matter what happens in this story, everything always works out for Kennedy Money problems that screenplay work won t solve No matter, somehow an institution in England is willing to pay you huge sums of money to show up at their university Headbutt a rich businessman on a flight to the UK No matter because charges won t be pressed and the headlines make you, and the university,famous Curse out the star of the movie Without lifting a finger, all will be forgiven and your status will be further enhanced for being real There are supposed problems at the start of the book where Kennedy is behind on several scripts, which Niven attempts to make seem an impossible task, but when push comes to shove, Kennedy writes them all in a couple of paragraphs There areexamples of non conflict being resolved in an impossibly simple way, especially the ending, but I won t spoil those here Suffice it to say, Kennedy gets what he wants very, very easily whether he tries or not With no real problems for our protagonist, and no real story, all that s left is Niven s snide and tiresome remarks about whatever s on his mind to fill out the rest of the nearly 400 page novel and unfortunately Niven has nothing interesting to say The novel makes some awkward gear changes as it shifts from Kennedy s adult holiday and laughalong at Hollywood academia, to real life It s as if Niven realised Kennedy was completely unlikable or maybe too much of a caricature even for a supposed satire and attempted to make him sympathetic by showing his family s problems There s his dead junkie sister Gerry whom we learn about through flashbacks and Kennedy s guilt at his lavish ways compared to the poverty that his sister resided in, and his lack of intervention that led to her premature death in her early 30s There s his dying mother whom he can t bring himself to visit while his understanding social worker brother Patrick looks after her as she wastes away, pining for her Kennedy It s such a badly misjudged inclusion in this novel that spends so long celebrating Kennedy for his bad boy behaviour that any attempt at humanity falls completely flat But the ending to the novel is spectacularly awful After failing to establish a legitimate love interest in one of Kennedy s students but going for the heartbroken angle for his protagonist anyway, Niven then has Kennedy learn some bad news leading to a decision to off himself He wanders the streets of London, reciting poetry to himself, wallowing in nostalgia This sickeningly sentimental and self indulgent sequence goes on for 30 pages and it s utterly unbearable to read Just when you re wishing that he d just kill himself already, he launches into another rose tinted memory that the reader has to suffer through to get to the next tedious memory And the ending itself well, it s a slap in the face to anyone thinking that this is a book for grown ups Straight White Male is a satire absolutely devoid of anything to say and spends a long time saying it It s a boring novel full of lazy writing, cliches, stereotypical characters, and a smirking attitude that believes will cause readers to overlook everything else Like the dinosaur on the cover, here s hoping childish stories about overprivileged, self entitled manbabies become extinct, and Niven actually makes an effort for his next novel

  2. Elise (TheBookishActress) Elise (TheBookishActress) says:

    am I hallucinating or is this actually a book title

  3. Casey Casey says:

    John Niven is an expert at writing deplorable, hedonistic main characters except, well, Jesus Kennedy here is no exception, ignoring his family and obligations in order to snort, drink, and fuck his way through the entirety of Hollywood He s smart, a bit sadistic, and certainly lacking in self awareness When the tides turn against him and they do they do so slowly, events conspiring in such a delicious manner because you want Kennedy to be a better person and don t mind relishing in a bit John Niven is an expert at writing deplorable, hedonistic main characters except, well, Jesus Kennedy here is no exception, ignoring his family and obligations in order to snort, drink, and fuck his way through the entirety of Hollywood He s smart, a bit sadistic, and certainly lacking in self awareness When the tides turn against him and they do they do so slowly, events conspiring in such a delicious manner because you want Kennedy to be a better person and don t mind relishing in a bit of his pain The funny turns serious, and you may find yourself wiping at your eyes because it s just allergies, really, fucking allergies Sometimes authors writing about writers can be tedious this is not the case here Bravo

  4. Callum Jacobs Callum Jacobs says:

    This is a book whose beauty lies in creating a character who is totally, almost unbelievably terrible as a human really, an absolute platinum lined shitball and yet somehow sympathetic Kennedy Marr is rude, self absorbed, unreliable and from the opening chapter clearly on a fast track to self destruction, but you know what I really liked him And that s not because I am also a shitball, honestly, it s because Niven s writing is clever and funny and honest Mostly though it is funny laugh o This is a book whose beauty lies in creating a character who is totally, almost unbelievably terrible as a human really, an absolute platinum lined shitball and yet somehow sympathetic Kennedy Marr is rude, self absorbed, unreliable and from the opening chapter clearly on a fast track to self destruction, but you know what I really liked him And that s not because I am also a shitball, honestly, it s because Niven s writing is clever and funny and honest Mostly though it is funny laugh out loud on the bus funny.Fan s of the US TV show Californication will know the territory here well successful, charming but deeply flawed writer makes it big in Hollywood and has trouble keep himself on the straight and narrow In fact he seems to have abandoned any attempt to stay on the highway at all and has gone off road in a massive diesel powered four by four, ploughing up the grass verge and driving over bunny rabbits as he goes There are drugs, sex, fights, preposterous behaviour in upscale environments I think this may have been the part the just made Marr so likeable despite his many, many faults and bad decision after bad decision Hollywood and the writing trade come in for some sharply observed abuse Niven clearlythan a little familiar with this world and the story builds pace nicely to it s denouement There are touches of genuine pathos as Marr begins to recognise that his trail of destruction has created some real casualties, most notably his teenage daughter, and the end, when it comes has a nice little twist.I am delighted to have come across Niven and have already torn through Kill Your Friends Now the central character in that one makes Kennedy Marr seem like a goddam monk

  5. Ray Ray says:

    Kennedy Marr, erstwhile bestselling author, is a successful Hollywood screenwriter Lazy, offensive and narcissistic, he is an alcoholic and a compulsive womaniser barmaids, starlets, TV producers and most memorably his wife s best friend at his own wedding He is not choosy.An unlikely set of events sends him back to a university in England lured there by a massive tax free payment to be a visiting professor of creative writing for a year To complicate matters his ex wife is a lecturer t Kennedy Marr, erstwhile bestselling author, is a successful Hollywood screenwriter Lazy, offensive and narcissistic, he is an alcoholic and a compulsive womaniser barmaids, starlets, TV producers and most memorably his wife s best friend at his own wedding He is not choosy.An unlikely set of events sends him back to a university in England lured there by a massive tax free payment to be a visiting professor of creative writing for a year To complicate matters his ex wife is a lecturer there too Oh, and by the way his mother is dying This book is acerbic, profane, disgusting, funny we see Marr stagger from bar to bar and woman to woman, getting into fights and on to the front pages of the tabloids Not a role model for his 16 year old daughter.I liked the pace of the book, its references to music and films from my youth and its many laugh out loud moments my favourite being a passage where a drunken Marr calculates that in the past thirty years he had spent over a thousand hours challenging himself, during which time he could have written a couple of books.There are a few sad moments too, and some fleeting glimpses of past tragedy.Worth a read

  6. Pippa Pippa says:

    What an incredible book A beautifully written, clever, funny and deeply disturbing book that will grab hold and stay with you Niven is as funny as ever but this novel has a distinctly grown up feel about it compared to his others Cold Hands aside What starts out as entertaining quickly gets dark, and then very dark Yet within even the rawest moments, there are still moments of pure comedic genius and you can t help but laugh despite everything that is happening Equally there are moments o What an incredible book A beautifully written, clever, funny and deeply disturbing book that will grab hold and stay with you Niven is as funny as ever but this novel has a distinctly grown up feel about it compared to his others Cold Hands aside What starts out as entertaining quickly gets dark, and then very dark Yet within even the rawest moments, there are still moments of pure comedic genius and you can t help but laugh despite everything that is happening Equally there are moments of complete horror that just stay with you I don t want to give anything away because this is one of those books you just have to pick up and read don t bother with the blurb, just throw yourself into it

  7. Robin Robin says:

    Gave this five stars simply because I enjoyed it so much I laughed and chortled all the way through Irish screenwriter Kennedy Marr lives the high life in Hollywood rich, extravagant, boozed, drugged and sex up to the eyeballs He s a rogue, but he s also clever, educated, funny and brilliant company He leaps off the page and seems like a great guy to meet in a bar He is, however, having doubts about his life his many betrayals of his wives and girlfriends, mother, brother and sister He Gave this five stars simply because I enjoyed it so much I laughed and chortled all the way through Irish screenwriter Kennedy Marr lives the high life in Hollywood rich, extravagant, boozed, drugged and sex up to the eyeballs He s a rogue, but he s also clever, educated, funny and brilliant company He leaps off the page and seems like a great guy to meet in a bar He is, however, having doubts about his life his many betrayals of his wives and girlfriends, mother, brother and sister He s been selfish and thoughtless and he knows it Will he change, will he kill himself, or will the growth on his penis claim him A rich ride that fizzes along with outrageous humour and wonderful writing

  8. Terri Terri says:

    Review also found at received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Grove Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review The expected publication date is October 7, 2014.This story provided quite the food for thought for me The character of Kennedy was perhaps the most unlikeable, self indulgent, self centered, egotistical narcissistic character I have ever read I simply hated him The problem is he was meant to be and this is where Review also found at received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Grove Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review The expected publication date is October 7, 2014.This story provided quite the food for thought for me The character of Kennedy was perhaps the most unlikeable, self indulgent, self centered, egotistical narcissistic character I have ever read I simply hated him The problem is he was meant to be and this is where I struggled Alas what is one to do Carry on with an open mind and read the story.There were moments of humour throughout the story One example that comes to mind is the fight on the plane I also highly enjoyed the moments where Kennedy went head to head with Drummond and literally got in his head If he wasof a likeable character I would have been cheering him on as he one upped him.There were also moments of sadness when Kennedy is remembering his sister This gives a complex view in to the many layers of Kennedy beyond just the repulsive womanizing jerk he is Also the scenes with his mother are touching and show just how damaged he is.I believe this is a story about redemption however I have to admit I am not really sure it occurs In Kennedy, Niven created a character that was so far gone and self absorbed that I almost didn t want redemption I wanted him to succumb to his self destructive ways.This is not going to be a story for everyone There is a lot of excessive profanity and sexual content references I for one found it to be too much however I can also see how some may enjoy the humour buried in the pages It is always difficult to decide how you feel about a book when the main character is purposefully written to be so obnoxious While I can appreciate some aspects to the book it really wasn t for me That being said I urge others to form their own opinions on this work as it really is all about personal taste

  9. Aisling Aisling says:

    This is not going to be for everyone and the first 50 pages or so are tough to get through until you realize where the author is going But stick with it and then wow A great story and absolutely stunning writing Bring onNiven

  10. Charles Harris Charles Harris says:

    How do you succeed in creating a difficult central character, indeed a quite obnoxious one, and yet persuade your readers to fall in love with him John Niven provides a textbook example in this scintillating, very funny and ultimately surprisingly moving satire, the story of a Falstaffian Irish screenwriter, mired in his own deep flaws.Kennedy Marr is no pale genius blushing unseen He fully admits that he s sold out, promising himself that he ll tell philistine producers where to go, but const How do you succeed in creating a difficult central character, indeed a quite obnoxious one, and yet persuade your readers to fall in love with him John Niven provides a textbook example in this scintillating, very funny and ultimately surprisingly moving satire, the story of a Falstaffian Irish screenwriter, mired in his own deep flaws.Kennedy Marr is no pale genius blushing unseen He fully admits that he s sold out, promising himself that he ll tell philistine producers where to go, but constantly taking the money instead And even if he s hard drinking, dysfunctional and a disaster with money and personal relationships, he s good at his job Now, however, having spent evenmoney than the large amounts he s earned, he is forced to take a commission which involves ruining the edit of one of the best movies he s ever seen, while teaching in a university alongside his scathingly estranged ex wife.So how on earth does Niven get us to care about, even love, this horrendous car crash of a man His techniques are instructive for all writers.One, he gives Marr a full armoury of strengths Marr is witty, acute, intelligent, a better observer of people than any of the others around him and his own worst critic And he s brave He says and does the kind of things we dream of saying and doing, but don t dare And we always admire that.Two, Niven ensures Marr is in pain He may be difficult and self centred, but he truly suffers Most of all, he realises that we all die Worse, we die whether we are good at our jobs or bad, whether we are perfect husbands and fathers, or complete failures There is no escape.Three, the other characters pale by comparison from his acerbic intellectual wife to his ghastly but strangely charismatic Hollywood producer, to the jealous rival professor whose single highbrow novel sounds like hell on paper Four, all the characters and settings are rounded and credible, even when being sent up Just when you think Niven has pushed his luck too far, he veers away from the cliff edge and keeps it real What you gradually realise spoiler alert is that Niven has broken the cardinal rule of character Marr has no journey As a reader, you are waiting for the moment when things get so bad that he s forced to face his flaws The running joke of this big shaggy dog yarn is that he never does Every time Marr is about to fail, something good happens to him He s like the cartoon character who is always being killed and yet always lives He s incorrigible And we start to love him for it.Of course, if you don t get the joke, then you may grow impatient with the story Once you twig, however, you find you re just enjoying the roller coaster ride Waiting to see just how close Marr can come to disaster and yet still come up smiling, preferably in a five star restaurant with a glass in his hand.It s a risky book for that reason, but great fun I ve wanted to read John Niven for some time now, since I heard he s one of the rare British writers working with satire Now I have, I m going to be reading and learning

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