From the highly acclaimed author of Bad Day in Blackrock – inspiration for the 2012 award-winning film What Richard Did, directed by Lenny Abrahamson – comes a darkly funny, gripping and profoundly moving novel about a life spinning out of control, a life live without the bedrock of familial love, and the corruption of material wealth that tears at the soul.
‘It was my father’s arrest that brought me here, although you could certainly say that I took the scenic route.’
Here is rehab, where Ben – the only son of a rich South Dublin banker – is piecing together the shattered remains of his life. Abruptly cut off, at the age of 27, from a life of heedless privilege, Ben flounders through a world of drugs and dead-end jobs, his self-esteem at rock bottom. Even his once-adoring girlfriend, Clio, is at the end of her tether.Â Then Ben runs into an old school friend who wants to cut him in on a scam: a shady property deal in the Balkans. The deal will make Ben rich and, at one fell swoop, will deliver him from all his troubles: his addictions, his father’s very public disgrace, and his own self-loathing and regret. Problems solved.
But something is amiss. For one thing, the Serbian partners don’t exactly look like fools. (In fact they look like gangsters.) And, for another, Ben is being followed everywhere he goes. Someone is being taken for a ride. But who?
Praise forÂ White City:
‘I can’t recommend it enough. It’s often hilariously funny but it’s also a sharp and smart dissection of contemporary materialism’Â John Boyne, author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies
‘An immensely enjoyable and tautly written account of a young man from an affluent family whose life of privilege is turned upside down’Â Sunday Times
‘Spiky, blackly funny novel that offers an incisive study on class, entitlement and masculinity’Â Independent
‘Capacious and comic, luxuriantly written, with an intricate plot and heightened characterisation?Â both riotous rant and thoughtful coming-of-age tale’Â Dublin Review of Books
‘Outstanding second novel… A brilliantly entertaining novel that is profound in the most unexpected ways. Power is that rarity, a genuinely funny novelist… Yet all the more remarkable is Power’s handling of tone: this novel moves effortlessly between humour and sincerity; it is steeped in empathy and raw anger’Â Literary Review
‘White City is likely to be the most solid, well-rounded novel to come out of Ireland this year? At once a pacy page-turner with a nerve-frazzling plot and a realistic and haunting tale of our interconnected world? White CityÂ is an all-round superb book that will stay with you long after the inevitable binge read’Â Irish Independent
‘White City synthesises familiar forms into a whole: the rogue’s confession, the young man finding his way, the post-Celtic Tiger satire on puffed-up, self-perpetuating bullshit businesses? Power shows his own capacity for comic timing and pithy aperÃ§us’ GuardianÂ
‘ An extremely funny book? Kevin Power shows his chops as a proper heavyweight novelist. Unequivocally one of the most purely enjoyable books, in the classic-novel sense? a zinger on every page’ Peter Murphy, Arena (RTE Radio 1)Â
‘[A] sprawling social satire of the sort we seldom see in Irish fiction? a tremendously zesty and zeitgeisty piece of writing’Â Sunday Times (Ireland)
‘[T]his dark caper evolves to ask searching moral questions? with its 11th-hour twist, this ambitious, attention-grabbing novel seems ripe for cinematic adaptation’ Daily Mail
‘Kevin Power’s Bad Day in Blackrock (2008) was one of the most memorable Irish novels of the new century? White City has passages of striking lyrical subtlety and the different storylines are managed with great dexterity. Much has changed in Ireland since Bad Day in Blackrock was published, but as Power’s adept and absorbing new novel reminds us, much has not. White City demands to be read’Â Irish Times
‘A fast-paced and wickedly funny novel. Hugely entertaining. White City grabbed me from the opening pages and didn’t let go’Â Danielle McLaughlin, author ofÂ The Art of Falling
‘Wild and beautiful, a whole addictive and breathlessly compelling world squeezed between these covers… A magnificent novel from a writer who is soaring to the most spectacular heights’ Billy O’Callaghan, author of Life Sentences
‘White City is a dark, hilarious and emotionally profound study of the toxic effects of greed and entitlement. Also, a story brilliantly and movingly told. Couldn’t stop reading it. Will read it again’ Ed O’Loughlin, authorÂ of Not Untrue and Not UnkindÂ
‘[A] biting page-turner? Power’s writing is both strong and savage’ John Walshe, The Business Post
”Funny, and gorgeously written, and just relentlessly entertaining’Â Mark O’Connell, author of Notes from an Apocalypse
‘This is part thriller but mostly a look at what it means to grow up… This novel is pleasing on so many levels, both intellectually & emotionally… You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… Read it, read it, read it’ Claire Hennessy, author, editor & publisher at Banshee Press
‘The kind of novel that makes writers jealous and readers cancel all their plans to finish it. As a commentary on the classless contemporary upper class, it’s cutting and hilarious; as a portrait of the artist as a young man waylaid by his membership in that class, it’s profound, unpretentious, unapologetically intelligent, and, again, really hilarious’Â Lauren Oyler, author of Fake Accounts
‘White City is brilliant on the high-octane vacuity of Ireland’s rentier class. Power’s trademark shimmering prose counterpoints a driving narrative… Brilliant’ Eoin McNamee, author of Resurrection Man and The Blue Tango