Synopses & Reviews
Reminiscent of such novels as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
and What's Eating Gilbert Grape
, a darkly funny and surprisingly tender debut novel about two brothers, one of whom refuses to leave his bed on his twenty-fifth birthday.
Written by a talented and award-winning young journalist, Bed was the first winner of a new high-profile prize for unpublished manuscripts announced during the 2010 London Book Fair, and has been hailed as a "momentous" debut in the UK.
Mal Ede, part-prophet and part-tyrant, is an eccentric eldest child who undergoes an extravagant metamorphosis. On his twenty-fifth birthday, disillusioned with the limits of adulthood, Mal goes to bed and never emerges again. Narrated by Mal's quieter, diligent younger brother, Bed details how Mal's extreme and grotesque transformation began and its ramifications on his haunted, fractured parents, his overshadowed brother, and the woman they both love, Lou. Over three decades the narrator tries, fails, and fails again to escape the exceptional presence of his older brother. Their father is forced to confront what legacy he will leave, their mother to abandon a life of her own.
Darkly funny and unexpectedly tender, Bed is a clever reflection on mortality, obesity, celebrity, depression, and the broken promises of adulthood.
"David Whitehouse has taken what might be a gimmicky hook in a lesser writer's hands — a romance triangulating around a bedridden media spectacle, the world's most obese man — and turned it, through lapidary prose, into a soulful meditation on a fraternal love as singular as it is universal." Teddy Wayne, author of Kapitoil
"Staggering, inventive, and heartbreakingly beautiful." Esquire
"The best new novel I've read in ages." Guardian
"Bed is a deftly-told wonder. Mr. Whitehouse's writing is accomplished, poetic, and deeply affecting." Joe Meno, author of Hairstyles of the Damned
"Sad and funny and pretty brilliant, too." The Observer
"A totally extraordinary and original novel." Heat
"A deeply affecting debut...A thoughtful commentary on food obsession, celebrity and, ultimately, a brother's love." People
“Outlandishly clever description… Ingenious one-liners… There’s no question that [David Whitehouse] is a writer to watch.”--Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Masterful... [An] accomplished debut... [Whitehouse] maintains a tone of subtlety and grace, pulling a distinguished and accessible story out of a profoundly strange experience."--Publishers Weekly, starred review ("Pick of the Week")
A darkly funny and surprisingly tender debut novel about two brothers, one of whom refuses to leave his bed on his 25th birthday.
About the Author
David Whitehouse was born in 1981 in Nuneaton, England. An award-winning journalist, his work has appeared in the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the Independent, Esquire UK, and the Observer Magazine. He is currently an editor at the British magazine Heat. His first short film, The Archivist, produced by Warp Films and the BBC, is screening at film festivals worldwide. Whitehouse's debut novel Bed was the winner of the inaugural Tell Hell with Prizes Award at the 2010 London Book Fair. Whitehouse lives in London.