John Niven’s Kill Your Friends was such an uproarious triumph (my stomach still hurts) that when I picked this one up in an unlikely German bookstore, I expected to be underwhelmed. After all, parts of The Amateurs bored me stiff or was that my inevitable Kill Your Friends hangover.
To cut it short, Straight White Male is a fucking masterpiece, from start to finish. Whereas Kill Your Friends made you cry with laughter, this one makes you cry with laughter and laugh with tears. Very few things can do that to you. This is moving and profane, like all things Irish.
Admittedly the prospect of reading a book about a successful Irish novelist turned Hollywood writer turned porn-addict going to teach literature at an English university is absolutely mouthwatering. Try having a wild fantasy about that… Tried? Not even fucking close.
Speaking of modern times, John Niven brilliantly compares writing novels to boxing. These days, you win on points, you don’t knock them out. What a hypocrite: Straight White Male is a flattener.