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Kill 'Em All Reviews

Kill 'Em All  by John Niven

Kill 'Em All

John Niven

2.67 out of 5

4 reviews

Imprint: William Heinemann Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publication date: 4 Oct 2018
ISBN: 9781785151576

What a monster he's created' IAN RANKIN`John Niven understands our era better than almost anyone' DOUGLAS COUPLAND`A scabrously entertaining satire of what it is like to be rich and white in the land of the free if you are utterly depraved, "where money doesn't just talk, or swear, it nukes".

2 stars out of 5
11 Oct 2018

"It’s well structured, in a crazed, absurdist sort of way"

The plot involves a little bit of rock ’n’ roll, a surprisingly small amount of drugs, and quite a lot of paedophile molestation, all pitched for comic effect... It’s well structured, in a crazed, absurdist sort of way, but its most notable feature is Stelfox’s language, a vivid hotchpotch of cockney, muso-speak and online shorthand. The descriptions of Trump, who shadows the story, jutting his lower lip and making tiny Os with his hands, are spot on... I love offensive jokes, but I felt a bit queasy at times reading this. And the problem of constantly having to top yourself in naughtiness, nastiness, and shock value, is that it shows diminishing returns. I doubt Stelfox will get a third outing.


1 stars out of 5
Laura Snapes
10 Oct 2018

"all the literary complexity of the blurb on a Lynx can"

It’s a poor man’s American Psycho, revelling in saying the so-called unsayable, with a particular fondness for metaphors based around anal rape... Kill ’Em All isn’t so much a narrative as a human centipede of topical news grafted together to maximise shock value... After the gratuitous rape fantasies and murder of Kill Your Friends, Niven grinds out gratuitous descriptions of pederasty. Yet considering that Kill ’Em All climaxes in a parachute-abetted kidnapping from an exploding helicopter, the book is impressively dull... And although this novel has all the literary complexity of the blurb on a Lynx can, Niven constantly overexplains in case readers can’t follow – though readers young enough to struggle probably shouldn’t be reading this. An epilogue details Stelfox’s unedifying comments on #MeToo – but the weak, moralistic twist undermines Niven’s cruel intentions.

4 stars out of 5
7 Oct 2018

"A scabrous, no-holds-barred satire of the state we’re in"

But, as in Welsh, the off-colour banter, hellbent on causing offence to all and sundry, masks an unimpeachable commitment to social justice. You’ll read between the lines to spot what Niven’s up to long before a subplot about a one-night stand delivers a karmic twist. For sure, his full-throttle send-up of toxic masculinity won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but Niven at full tilt is always something to behold.

4 stars out of 5
29 Sep 2018

Niven pulls no punches... Ingeniously plotted by Niven, what unfolds is a scabrously entertaining satire of what it is like to be rich and white in the land of the free if you are utterly depraved, “where money doesn’t just talk, or swear, it nukes”... A book satirising white, male privilege is well timed and Niven is at his best when writing about the confidence and access obscene wealth enables, especially with Trump in the White House. “This is the new reality,” says Stelfox. “We do what we want and there will be no f***ing accountability.”... There is a twisted poetry in Niven’s mastery of invective, although the bile that spews from Stelfox’s mouth, while deliberately provocative, is often hard to stomach, whether you’re a snowflake or a free speech fanatic. However, if you have been with Stelfox from the start, the payoff is absolutely priceless.