By Nick Laird
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060828363, 368pp.)
Publication Date: January 2006
Danny Williams didn't mean to be a lawyer, but somehow he is -- and for up to eighteen hours a day. He's well paid, home owning, and twenty-seven but is also overworked, lonely, and frequently stoned. The plan was to leave the troubles of a small town in Northern Ireland for the big city in England, but one evening an old school friend, Geordie, bursts into Danny's shiny new life. On the run from a Loyalist militia, Geordie brings everything Danny thought he had left behind and dumps it on his doorstep.
With infectious wit and energy to burn, Utterly Monkey is a searing, fiercely funny, and ultimately redemptive novel about surviving an office job, outwitting the bad guys, and, hopefully, getting the girl.
Nick Laird was born in 1975 in Northern Ireland. He was a scholar at Cambridge University, and later spent a year at Harvard University as a visiting fellow. The author of To a Fault, a poetry collection, he has received several prestigious awards for both poetry and fiction, including the 2005 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.
“An adventure into love and politics and the law. Laird’s writing is deft, good-humoured and absorbing.”
“A terrific debut novel. A beautifully intricate dissection of the corporate world, and a hilarious depiction of modern male friendships.”
-Time Out (London)
“An extraordinarily accomplished novel, by a confident and eloquent voice, filled with humour and insight.”
-Sunday Times (London)
“Combines humor and heart with subversive intelligence. ... Laird is funnier and edgier than (Nick) Hornby.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The real thing, a novel rich in both achievement and promise, by a writer who can actually write.”
-The Times (London)
“A blithe, breezy read that nevertheless delivers biting insight. Laird is certainly no slouch—but he wondrously understands the mindset.”
“Part caper movie, part coming-of-age story, part urban satire ... introduces a wonderfully original and limber voice.”
-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“An utterly engaging modern social satire with an unpredictable, violent edge. ... An excellent exploration of modern relationships.”