DESK CLERK is my first novel to be published. Written (off and on) over a period of about 18 years, it began life as a short story, borne of the frustration and alienation I felt from working a series of casual temp jobs. More stories were added to the growing pile, forming a loose novella that took as its title the name of the original short story: DESK CLERK.

Over the years I attempted to re-write the book, to work into a more “coherent story”, to shape it into something more palatable than the fragmentary series of events that it was. In between, I began publishing short fiction, and wrote and self-published The Gift Garden, a short novella. I returned to DESK CLERK and decided to embrace its disjointed nature. What it has become has been influenced much more by the poetry of Aase Berg than by William Burroughs, who I was very much influenced by when I originally wrote the story.

The novel is a prose-poem. Deliberately broken and fractured, like the people in it.

It is nihilistic.

It is unapologetic.

It is apocalyptic.

The world we live in seems beyond repair, beyond rescue. DESK CLERK opens the black hole and follows it all down.

An extract was published in an early form in New Dead Families.

There is another extract available on this site.

Listen to an audio excerpt, Pristina’s Speech.

Available to buy now from the Flat Field store.

Book trailer: