Care of Wooden Floors

Will Wiles. Amazon Publishing/New Harvest, $24 (304p) ISBN 978-0-547-95356-4
This darkly humorous novel from U.K. journalist Wiles involves a nameless protagonist whose eight days of house-sitting turn out to be a lot more hassle than he bargained for. A freelance copywriter in London does his old university friend, Oskar, now a classical musician, a big favor by staying in his “nice flat” located in an unspecified and dour Slavic city. Oskar is a “borderline obsessive-compulsive” who leaves very specific instructions on a number of notes posted throughout the flat, including not only the care of cats Shossy and Stravvy, but, of greater importance, that of the expensive French oak floors. Oskar, in L.A. to deal with divorcing his wife, intends to return soon to his “island of perfection.” Unfortunately, the befuddled protagonist is a hapless caretaker; he lets one of Oskar’s cats die (via piano lid) and, perhaps worse, he spills red wine on the floor. “Batface,” the flat’s bellicose cleaning lady, is no help rescuing the precious floorboard. The narrator is pleased to find that Oskar has a “human” side when he uncovers his hidden porn stash, but the maintenance of the wooden floors soon takes a horrid turn. A strikingly original debut. Agent: Jim Rutman, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Oct. 9)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 10/09/2012
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-385-67640-3
Hardcover - 295 pages - 978-0-00-742443-6
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-385-67639-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-0734-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4692-0755-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-0744-5
Paperback - 295 pages - 978-0-00-742444-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5012-7906-5
Audio Product - 978-1-5420-4774-6
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