Care of Wooden Floors
by Will Wiles
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Pub Date 03 Apr 2012 | Archive Date 05 Oct 2012
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A brilliantly dark literary debut of death, destruction and interior decoration.
"But for the floors, and the sofa, and the porn, and the dead and missing, the flat was restored to order."
An old friend asks you to look after his two cats and his apartment. What could go wrong? Care of Wooden Floors is about how a tiny oversight can trip off a disastrous and farcical (fatal, even) chain of consequences. It's about a friendship between two men who don't know each other very well. It's about alienation and being alone in a foreign city. It's about the quest for perfection and the struggle against entropy. And it is, a little, about how to take care of wooden floors.
Oskar is a Mittel-European minimalist composer best known for a piece called "Variations on Tram Timetables." He is married to a Californian art dealer named Laura and he lives with two cats, named after Russian composers, in an Eastern European city.
But this book isn't really about Oskar. Oskar is in Los Angeles, having his marriage to Laura dismantled by lawyers. He has entrusted an old university friend with the task of looking after his cats, and taking care of his perfect, beautiful apartment. Despite the fact that Oskar has left dozens of surreally detailed notes covering every aspect of looking after the flat, things do not go well.
Dark, funny and compelling, this novel takes your breath away with its extraordinarily distinctive writing. The voice is unexpected, constantly, but consistently conveys a universal human experience that pulls the reader right into the world of the narrator.
WILL WILES was born in India in 1978. He is deputy editor of Icon, a monthly architecture and design magazine, where for three years he has written about everything from Pot Noodle to jumbo jets. He once spent a week trying to find a Chihuahua skeleton. Care of Wooden Floors is his first novel. He lives in London.