Monday, November 10, 2008

Kill Your Friends-John Niven

Kill Your Friends
John Niven
Harper, Jan 2009, $14.99
ISBN: 0061690619

In 1997 A&R guru twenty-seven year old Steven Stelfox suffers from the modern day deadly sins of arrogance, gluttony due to drug abuse and avarice. He rises rather quickly to the top of the music industry the phenomenal success of one act that makes it for every ten he finds. However, as the alcohol, cocaine and orgies pile on; he goes into a slump as the successes suddenly go empty. He owes a fortune and has no prospects back to the top as he is down near the bottom and sinking into the ooze below.

Angry, acrimoniously, and acidly, Steven despises everyone as he blames their jealousy for his fall from grace, but also loathes himself for failing to find the next hit wonder. With his ego still super, Steven is also paranoid that his friends are using and abusing him costing him his career. He ponders cleaning up in order to kill the competition and finding a hit to refuel his dying career.

This is a weird but entertaining satirical look at the British music industry. Stelfox is a fascinating character as he self destructs with fame and fortune, but blames others while plotting his comeback as he considers a few corpses on his climb back to the top of the A&R discovery world do not matter. John Niven provides a dark insider look at the music mega business in which cutthroat backstabbing even friends is the norm.

Harriet Klausner

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