Published June 2014
Read the first chapter here.
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‘Gibbs has produced the sort of novel you pray for as a reviewer.’ (The Guardian)
LONGLISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE
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IMAGINE if Damien Hirst died in 1989 run over, 'apparently when drunk', by a train. Imagine someone else took his place. Imagine Randall: a genius provocateur who amuses and bemuses the press, public and all around him. Who makes a fortune, causes chaos and upends the art world in London and beyond, marking his route with acidic self-commentary: contemporary art is 'art you don't have to see to get'; modern art 'you don't have to like to buy'.
As told by his friend and confidant Vincent, Randall evokes the lost era of the 1990s, tinged with love, devotion and nostalgia: But Vincent's memories are tainted. The past still has a grip on the present. Now, years after Randall's death, Vincent (along with Justine, Randall's widow and Vincent's lover before that) must negotiate his friend's last, greatest, posthumous outrage. Even from beyond the grave, Randall has the power to set their relationship in jeopardy and everything they hold dear...
JONATHAN GIBBS was born in the Port of Spain, Trinidad, and grew up in Essex. Now he lives in London. He has written on books for the Independent, the Telegraph, the TLS and elsewhere. Randall is his first novel.