The Late Hector Kipling: A Novel

The Late Hector Kipling: A Novel

by David Thewlis

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Hector Kipling is a famous artist. But Hector is not as famous as his best friend, Lenny Snook. And as they are standing in the Tate Gallery one afternoon, Hector's life begins to unravel. For a painter, this existential crisis is the place from which great art is born. If the painter happens to be a forty-three-year-old man with a girlfriend away from home, it is the recipe for disaster.

Soon it's all Hector can do to keep it together -- between his therapist who shows up drunk at a party and introduces herself to his parents, an irresistible young female poet with a terrifying taste for S&M, and a deranged stalker with an oil-and-canvas-inspired vendetta, just trying to cope is enough to make a man cry.

As the events in his life threaten to drive him toward full-blown dementia, Hector finds himself in a bizarre and murderous pursuit of a man threatening to kill him in return, spiraling into a hysterically surreal Hitchcocklike thriller -- the story of how a man can become desperate enough to shoot his way out of a midlife crisis.

At turns warm, witty, and joyfully absurd, David Thewlis's wicked comedy marks the debut of a savagely funny and observant literary talent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416554264
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/06/2007
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 354 KB

About the Author

David Thewlis is an actor, writer, and director. He has appeared in numerous films, including Paul Auster's The Inner Life of Martin Frost, The Omen, Kingdom of Heaven, Seven Years in Tibet, The Big Lebowski, Gangster No. 1, and Naked (directed by Mike Leigh), for which he won Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival. He has also appeared as Professor Remus Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; he will reprise that role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Thewlis is originally from Blackpool, England. This is his first novel.

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Late Hector Kipling 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
bookmart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An unusual read with enough interest to keep me going.
misslilpaw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hector Kipling is an absolute success story. He¿s made it as an artist, commading five and six figures for his work on `big heads¿. He¿s got great friends. He¿s got a great girlfriend. He¿s even great parents back at home. And yet, things just aren¿t quite¿great enough. Or good enough. Or¿something. Deliciously diabolical and devlishly good, Thewlis¿ debut novel will send you reeling around the unpredictable hairpin turns of Hector¿s slipppery questionable mind. Within that mind is where jealousies lurk, frustrations crouch in wait, insecurities threaten and old resentments patiently naw at the fragile threads of Hector¿s sanity. Peppered with real life figures from the London art world and a knowledgeable grasp of the absurdity of life in the public eye, Thewlis has drawn a witty, satirical look at the choices we make in life that in the end, can either make us or break us. Highly reccomended.
TomSlee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love David Thewliss, but could not warm to the book. The blurb says "warm and witty" but "bleak and relentless" would be closer. I like a bit of grim, but this one was too much. Everything goes wrong for the hero - mainly his fault - who comes off a bit like Frank Spencer with more blood and sex. Perhaps I picked it up at the wrong time?
LynnB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story about a man's descent from mid-life crisis into insanity is well written, with lots of quirkly characters and some black humour.Hector Kipling is an artist whose life goes from normal to tragedy to bizarre over the course of a few weeks. His girlfriend returns to Greece to be with her critically injured mother, his father is in hospital, his mother appears to be having a mental breakdown, his best friend is nominated for an award based on a idea he stole from Hector, and he meets and begins an affair with a young poet with S&M tendencies. No wonder Hector's life falls apart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
onekooleskamo More than 1 year ago
I'll be the first to admit that I bought this book purely to see if David Thewlis' talent extended off the screen. I'll also be the first to say that it more than does. Hector Kipling is the kind of man that you love, sympathize for, and that exasperates you. Kipling's character goes beyond Thewlis' words to live the life that you wish to observe but never want, complete with tragedy, romance, and drama. I promise you that you will laugh, cry, and exhibit incredible self restraint when you stop yourself from throwing the book away in frustration. However, you shouldn't read the book if you are uncomfortable with some...-now, how do I say this without giving anything away?- uncomfortable and blunt, for lack of a better word, thought.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like the protagonist's (Hector Kipling) favorite Gauguin quote (used in the title of this review), David Thewlis's grandiose modern art satire is not a book that will appeal to everyone as eloquent prose (the book is peppered with swearing) or a credible storyline (but that's the whole point of a farce after all), yet with his manic witty writing style it truly is a wonderful writing debut. Thewlis may be an actor originally, but the man could be a modern artist. He clearly knows the world he is writing about & despite how he is making fun of the modern art scene it never feels like a cheap shot joke, but the well studied satire it actually is. Hector Kipling is by no means a starving artist, rather he is successful with his disturbing paintings of faces, but he isn't nearly as famous as his friend Lenny, something that continually irks him along with the fact that he hasn't led a 'hard' enough life to truly be the artist he could be. So of course Hector gets his wish- with his loving girl friend out of town, Hector loses all control on his sanity & for somewhat of a good reason: he has a homicidal stalker, a narcissistic shrink, overly nervous batty parents, & a goth poet who is obsessed with him. All of this becomes too much for Hector to cope with thus resulting in an over the top catastrophic downfall. However due to Thewlis's snappy smart clearly well-read writing we still find ourselves actually rooting for Hector to sort it all out. And the best part, the whole novel is a hilarious black comedy. Thewlis is quite funny, quite intelligent, and quite a talented writer even if he stretches our belief sometimes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
David Thewlis has a way with words. If words were a woman they would fall at his feet in complete surrender! From the first chapter on I was totally captivated by the world of Hector Kipling. At first I was all about Hector. I even understood his resentment of the less talented yet more successful artist Lenny Snook,albeit Lenny is his best friend. He's only human, right? I was really pulling for Hector. Even as he began to self-destruct I was pulling for him to get it together. After a while my affection for Hector turned to annoyance. The desire to snatch him up and slap him silly overcame my desire for him to rally. Though I have read criticism of the ending I felt it was brilliant, and really, for Hector, the only logical thing to do. Thewlis¿ writing has a natural flow that just sweeps you along. Do yourself a tremendous favor¿READ THIS NOVEL! I enjoyed it so much I have read it twice within a month¿s time. This book is a treat in which I strongly suggest you indulge! I have but one question...when will David Thewlis write another novel?