A savage, surreal and very original imagination - Sunday Telegraph
Manolo Follano, a 40-year-old Spanish roué, has built a comfortable life for himself in his hometown by the sea. His architectural design company is thriving, his suits are Italian linen, his cigars Cuban, he's on friendly terms with his two ex-wives and happily free to enjoy the charms of women much younger. For a playboy like Manolo - handsome, fastidious, opinionated and more than a little vain - to be told by his doctor and friend that he is HIV Positive is, it would seem, the end of everything.
In Alan Warner's fifth novel, however, this devastating news is only the beginning. Manolo strolls around his familiar haunts recalling, with Proustian clarity, the loves of his life, as he prepares to tell each of them his terrible secret - all the while bracing himself for the final reckoning, and the thin hope of redemption. In a series of vivid, erotic, hilarious flashbacks he plays back his life in glowing Technicolor: each wild and glorious set-piece building towards a complete picture of a life - flawed, certainly, but passionate, richly imagined and deeply humane.
A novel of stunning visual invention that manages to be both provocative and profound, both shocking and riotously funny, The Worms Can Carry Me To Heaven
is further proof of Alan Warner's prodigal gifts of spirit and imagination, and his position in the first rank of contemporary writers.
Alan Warner is the author of four previous novels: Morvern Callar
, These Demented Lands
, The Sopranos
and The Man Who Walks
. In 2003 he was chosen as one of Granta's twenty Best of Young British Novelists.
Funny, profound, shocking and provocative’,Goes further and deeper than Warner’s earlier work, marking him out in the process as one of the few contemporary novelists capable of sensing fully the effects of pop-cultural touchstones,Finely written and read[s] truly,In 2003 Alan Warner was one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists, and quite right too - he’s a writer of stunning originality
,The Worms Can Carry Me to Heaven
is one man’s story, funny, moving, swollen with lust and high anxities, sombre in moments, momentously memorable in passages of lyrical intensity, where it sings with a potent underlying sadness,Warner displays enormous artistry in craftily constructing the story so that the string of seemingly random recollections builds up a brilliant portrayal not just of his narrator but of the human condition,Contains beautiful writing…moments of superb deadpan comedy,To read the novel is not just to be entertained, though it is very entertaining, but to be surprised, disgusted, challenged: reminded of our reasons for reading novels at all,[L]ike each of his previous novels, it displays above all the pyrotechnic brilliance of his imagination,The Worms Can Carry Me to Heaven
is at once a startling break from genre for Warner and a deeper exploration of some of his favoured philosophical themes,Macabre and bizarre… It doesn’t lack heart, but only hides it. That in itself… is rather brilliant