Dabbler Book Club Review – The Kills by Richard House

the kills
Last month’s Dabbler book Club choice was blockbuster The Kills by Richard House. Worm gives us his review on one of the most talked about books of the summer…

Longlisted for the Man Booker prize this year, The Kills is an upmarket thriller that drops you into a topical story involving the allied forces in Syria, before quickly moving across the world, changing protagonists as it goes.

First time writer Richard House leads you through various connected stories, with some differing writing styles and changes of pace thrown in, as the author’s lens zooms in and out, sometimes dealing with small emotional struggles and at other times focusing on macro-level political machinations. With its byzantine tangle of characters, names and places you quickly grasp that this is a very serious world in which everyone is very serious. I got the feeling that this is a book for blokes. The kind of blokes who watch The West Wing or The Wire.

In fact there is something of the box set about this book, sprawling, labyrinthine, blokey. Perfect for long winter evenings, then.

With thanks to our friends at Picador for the copies of Richard House’s The Kills. You can purchase your own copy here. To be in with a chance of winning upcoming free books, sign up to the Dabbler Book Club , or join the fabled League of Dabblers



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The Dabbler is the culture blog for connoisseurs of everything.

2 thoughts on “Dabbler Book Club Review – The Kills by Richard House

  1. gpj@live.com.au'
    Gregory Johnson
    October 18, 2013 at 02:35

    I totally agree with Worm’s assessment of The Kills. I was a lucky winner of this book through The Dabbler Book Club (again thank you Picador and The Dabbler) and although I have not yet finished it, I have to say The Kills is a seat of your pants rattling good yarn.
    The Kills website is a worthy ancillary to the book, giving backgrounds of the protagonists and beautiful location videos. I am seriously impressed.
    My boundless enthusiasm of the worthiness of this book to my friends here in Australia I hope, in some part, achieves well-deserved sales for Richard House and Picador!

  2. Worm
    October 18, 2013 at 09:01

    Nice one Gregory, thanks for your review! I should have mentioned the multimedia stuff too – as well as the length of the book – 1000 pages! A bit of a beast. I thought the length would have worked against it regarding the Booker prize judging – but I did note with interest that the eventual winner of the Man Booker prize on tuesday night- The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – was well over 800 pages long..

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