Care of Wooden Floors

Care of Wooden Floors, Will Wiles

Can a page-turner really be about someone trying not to damage a pristine wooden floor?  The answer is yes, in this very engaging debut novel from architecture and design journalist Will Wiles. Oskar, minimalist composer and clean-freak (“What vodka does Oskar drink? Neat vodka”) has asked his friend, our narrator, to take care of his flat and two cats in an unnamed eastern European city while he heads to LA to organise his divorce. This is the premise of the novel, and to say anything more would be to risk spoiling the experience of being led, day by day, through the unfolding of our hero’s time in residence. And ‘unfolding’ is the word. There is a cumulative momentum to the plot, so if you’re the sort of person who flicks through a book before starting it, don’t.

The book is funny, at times darkly so. The prose is sharp and intelligent; the situation entirely believable, even when small events take on huge significance, and large ones somehow diminish in stature. Perhaps as a result of his journalistic training, Wiles has a wonderful way of providing detail without letting it become fussy or unnecessary.

One of our books of the year.

Comments are closed.

COB Recommends
Looking for a good book to read? This is a selection of books we like. From just published to older publications to the classics, we're sure there's something here to tempt the bookworm within you.