Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Literature Review: Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles

I recently finished reading this novel, which was recommended to me by a friend, and honestly I had no idea what to make of it from her description. It's certainly a difficult story to explain to your peers (believe me, I've tried), and really all I can say is that you enjoy a little satire and dark humour, this is a book that I'm sure you'll enjoy.

The story begins when the unnamed, London-based protagonist arrives in an unnamed city in an unnamed country in eastern Europe, having been asked by old university friend Oskar to look after his flat while Oskar flies to America to deal with his divorce from his California wife. Oskar is a notoriously uptight clean freak whose flat reflects his nature in such a way that he is present even despite his absence for most of the story, and his most important requrest for the protagonist is to take care of his precious wooden floors. Naturally, our protagonist has some problems adhering to this golden rule, and his problems escalate dramatically as a result of his very first, painfully minor error.

Care of Wooden Floors is a beautifully written, frequently hilarious, and surprisingly emotional novel that was enthralling enough to keep me late back from my lunch hour at work on more than one occasion (oops!). At first it might seem jarring that you don't know the protagonist's name or indeed much about his past besides his time at university, his ex-girlfriend and his current occupation, but in time the reader is given the opportunity to learn every detail nuance of his nature exactly as he is captured during one week in Oskar's flat. His is a nature that is almost painfully realistic as his mind races with a multitude of fears, excuses, and disappointments, all of which become more extreme (almost farcical) as the week goes on.

My recommendation is that you check out this book. It can be purchased online:

Book Depository

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