> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 29 January 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448114016
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

Lurid & Cute

An extravaganza of suburban noir – complete with one orgy, one brothel, and a series of firearms disputes – from Adam Thirlwell, twice selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists.

'I had this vision very clearly of a book in which I would record my total experience, and I knew how it should sound: with all the tones that no one ever admires, – the Gruesome, Tender, Needy, Sleazy, Boring, the Lurid and the Cute.’
In this way the hero of Adam Thirlwell’s new novel describes the book you hold between your hands: a delirious tale of backchat and low tricks, all of which begin when our hero wakes beside a woman who is bleeding, unconscious and not, unfortunately, his wife... And then, of course, events get very much worse.


  • Pub date: 29 January 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448114016
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

About the Author

Adam Thirlwell

Adam Thirlwell is the author of two novels, Politics and The Escape; a novella, Kapow!; and a project including an essay-book – which won a Somerset Maugham Award – and a compendium of translations edited for McSweeney’s. His work is translated into thirty languages. He has twice been selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.

Also by Adam Thirlwell

See all

Praise for Lurid & Cute

“A dazzlingly imaginative comic noir”

Financial Times

“The narrator of Thirlwell’s latest book may be his best creation yet… The way time works here – pulled and stretched, sped up and sped down – testifies to Thirlwell’s mastery as a storyteller… Impossible to put down”

New York Times Book Review

“An extravagantly talented novelist”

Evening Standard

“Reading Thirlwell is like going into the happiest, cholesterol-clogged form of literary existence. Whether he’s writing about the decline and fall of our civilization or a guy who thinks he’s accidentally killed his lover, the prose bounces us into a state of fulfilled happiness and wonder”

Gary Shteyngart, Salon

“Reads like a collaboration between Kundera and Murakami to adapt SJ Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep or Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl into post-modernist fiction”


“Lurid & Cute is a simple story of mayhem and ennui, almost a caper, but told with such satisfying ironies and verbal dexterity that everything is technicolor again. So alive, so inventive, so very good.”

Joshua Ferris, author of 'To Rise Again at a Decent Hour'

“It’s a seductive slice of suburban noir”

Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler

“Lurid & Cute is strong enough to make admirers out of detractors”

Malcolm Forbes, National

“Lurid & Cute, which begins as…an exercise in pure style, also reveals itself as a very earnest critique of the morals of a pampered generation”

Adam Kirsch, Atlantic

“A phantasmagoric tale of a modern world full of sex and violence, which is both funny and shocking.”

A. S. Byatt, Spectator

“Thirlwell’s narrative is packed with bold similes and outlandish events.”

Daily Telegraph

“The dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny.”

Tamim Sadikali, Bookmunch

“Beautifully told in an engaging way by a stylist at the very top of his game.”

William Leith, Evening Standard

“Lurid and Cute is a breathless stream of conscientiousness of an unnamed hero whose aimless life is ultimately set to self-destruction. There is an element of Tarantino in the sex, violence and freneticism of the book.”

Amelia Ashton, Nudge

Related titles