A British copywriter house-sits at his composer friend Oskar's ultra-modern apartment in a glum Eastern European city. The instructions are simple: Feed the cats, don't touch the piano, and make sure nothing damages the priceless wooden floors. Content for the first time in ages, he accidentally spills some wine. The apartment and the narrator's sanity gradually fall apart in this unusual and satisfying novel.
Oskar has left several notes for his friend, gently instructing him in the proper maintenance of the flat. But over the course of one disastrous week, as the situation in (and out) of the apartment spirals out of control, the notes take on a more insistent - and creepily prescient - tone.
Anyone who has ever felt inferior to a perfectionist friend will sympathize with the narrator's plight. Wiles is a genuinely funny comic novelist in the tradition of those two earlier British W's, Wodehouse and Waugh.
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"If you are a fan of Kafka, you should enjoy this novel, which is reminiscent of The Metamorphosis." - Kirkus
"Starred Review. [D]arkly humorous...a strikingly original debut." - Publishers Weekly
"Funny, beguiling, and quietly profound ... a wonderfully well-crafted debut." - Times Literary Supplement (UK)
"Guffaw-out-loud moments married to the horrified recognition that provokes empathy. A very funny novel provoking schadenfreude and belly laughs." - The Independent (UK)
"Fawlty Towers crossed with Freud." - Daily Telegraph (UK)
"A nicely turned satire on the notion that the path to spiritual contentment lies in a pristine set of polished wooden floorboards... Care of Wooden Floors indicates that Wiles has an eye for beauty, but an even more impressive eye for ugliness. It's a novel full of impeccably stylish writing." - Guardian (UK)
"This is a terrific first novel, written with a very engaging deadpan wit, and an understated sense of the absurd." - The Times (UK)
"Highly idiosyncratic, well-written, with a vivid sense of placeand weirdly compelling." - Michael Frayn, author of Skios and Headlong
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Will Wiles is a journalist and contributor to Icon, a monthly architecture and design magazine in the U.K. His work has also appeared in Cabinet and New Statesman, among other publications. Will lives with his wife in London.
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