Robinson | Granta

  • Published: 22/08/2001
  • ISBN: 9781862074637
  • 130x20mm
  • 204 pages

Robinson

Christopher Petit

Robinson is a persuader. He uses his voice to win and manipulate, and the narrator of this novel even now knows that if he were exposed to that voice again he would fall for Robinson’s charm. It led him into the night-world of Soho, of seedy pubs, sexual fantasies, upstairs rooms, violence and betrayal. But who exactly is Robinson and where else will his charms lead?

Voyeurism, alienation, wife-swapping (with your own wife), and a deus ex machina who transmigrates from Harry Lime into Fassbinder on Valium. Highly recommended

Iain Sinclair

The atmosphere, menacing, monochromatic and heavy, has all the brooding qualities of a film noir

The Times

This mesmerising novel has something very black to say about freedom and self-worth; it shows us monsters - pornography, drugs, technology - sapping the force of human wills. But there is also a self-monstering joy to be had amid the phantasmagoria: a perverse pleasure in losing oneself, a willful desensitisation of the will. The experience of reading the darker scenes in Robinson can do this to the reader too

Giles Foden, Times Literary Supplement

The Author

Christopher Petit is a novelist and film-maker. His work in film includes Radio On, Chinese Boxes and (with lain Sinclair) The Cardinal and the Corpse, The Falconer, Asylum and London Orbital. His first novel, Robinson, has been republished by Granta Books. He is also the author of The Psalm Killer and Back from the Dead. He lives in London.

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From the Same Author

The Hard Shoulder

O’Grady comes home from jail to Kilburn weathering the onset of a harsh new climate. This is Mrs Thatcher’s Britain. It is a place he recognizes, but he feels lost in it. His estranged wife has moved on and up, out to the suburbs; the daughter he barely knew is living with a wealthy record producer. O’Grady lodges in his spinster sister’s dreary hotel. Alcohol and the random chances it brings begin to define his life. The only people who want to know him are aware that he is owed money by those for whom he took the fall. They offer him schemes, fantasies: he is expected to perform some action that will change lives. But O’Grady cannot make a decision and cannot act. The Hard Shoulder is an evocation of the grey avenues and pubs of Irish London at its most hopeless, a semi-criminal milieu of the lost: north-west London has never been more convincingly portrayed. Using and undermining the conventions of the thriller, Petit has written a book that deserves to stand alongside the best that the city has inspired.