The Ruins - Mat Osman; | Foyles Bookstore
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The Ruins
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The Ruins (Paperback)

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London, 2010: Icelandic volcanoes have the city in gridlock, banks topple like dominoes and Brandon Kussgarten has been shot dead by gunmen in Donald Duck masks. His death draws his twin brother - shy, bookish Adam - into Brandon's underworld of deceit and desire.

A miniature kingdom sprouts in a Notting Hill tower-block, LA mansions burn in week-long parties, and in a Baroque hotel suite a record is being made that could redeem its maker even as it destroys him. As Adam begins to fall for his brother's shattered family he finds that to win them for himself he'll have to lose everything that he holds dear.

This intelligent, intriguing and emotionally-searing tale of fractured identities, narcissism and ambition questions how being loved for what others think we are differs from who we are to ourselves.With echoes of Performance, The Talented Mr Ripley and Mulholland Drive, The Ruins delves into the dark heart of fame: magic, music and murder.

Fiction & PoetryCrime & ThrillersFiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Watkins Media Publication Date: 11/02/2020 ISBN-13: 9781912248674  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Mat Osman is the bassist and founding member of iconic British rock band Suede.

More books by Mat Osman

Customer Reviews

As a founding member of the legendary British alt-pop band Suede, Mat Osman is truly in his element with this astonishing debut. His firsthand familiarity with the sweeps and dips of the British music scene informs his tale of reticent Adam and his twin, Brandon, who struggled with the ignobility of having been a musical also-ran. When Brandon is gunned down in London, Adam pairs up with Brandon’s widow to find answers. The answers are scattered across the real and virtual worlds, as Adam discovers messages from beyond the grave: a rambling diatribe on the forum of Brandon’s musical archenemy, a waveform file tucked deep in a corner SoundCloud. Each clue helps piece together Brandon's strange last days, which included searching out former bandmates and finding Brian Wilson's theremin. Why? Brandon tells a peculiar Rockabilly duo: "To f*** someone over. To make money. To live forever." Adam's goals are more tangible than immortality but no less fraught as he weaves into his brother’s twisted life. That life holds dark appeal: "No longer swept along by the river's flow, I'm swimming against it, and that's the only way you feel the water on your skin." Osman's real-life knowledge of the music industry imbues the book with undeniable authenticity. Yet no number of details could have buttressed the winding, ambitious plot had he crafted his characters with less insight and care. These are relatable people beset by outrageous events. Even Brandon, one of those rarified creatures—a rock 'n' roll frontman—has an underpinning of realism. One of his clues is titled "Are We Gonna Be All Right," about which he thinks, "Every time I'd asked or been asked it signaled the end of something, because in asking you got your answer." The vision is pure but not treacly, dark but not bleak. Osman's control of the English language is dazzling. These pages are bursting with lush, sticky imagery that creates an ethereal sense of place—another grittier, more vibrant world than ours. In The Ruins, the canyons blossom, the night is bible-black, and the magic of creating music is "a dislocated shoulder gratefully coming home to its socket." Like Osman's creation, Adam, I was lured into this seductive realm and reluctant to leave.

- 15/01/2020
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