Book Review: Friction, Joe Stretch

Joe Stretch is maddeningly gifted! He is not only a novelist but also a talented lyricist and vocalist. His band Performance, ‘an electro-pop quartet’, released their debut album in 2007. Born in 1982, he grew up in Lancashire, moved to Manchester aged 18 to study politics at Manchester University, and is currently taking part in Martin Amis’s creative writing programme there. ‘Friction’ is his remarkable debut novel.

Imagine a world where shopping reigns supreme, and sex is nothing to do with love… welcome to ‘Friction!‘ Justin, Rebecca, Steve, Carly, Jonny and Colin are a dissolute group of pleasure-seekers living on the depraved and desolate streets of an austere 21st-century Manchester. This is their story.

Justin wants a sex life. Rebecca wants to understand men. Steve wants cash… and Carly! Carly meanwhile is searching for the ultimate orgasm. Jonny wants to be touched. And Colin, well he just wants to know why breasts make his fists clench.   

Castlefield and the Northern Quarter provide a bleak backdrop as Stretch launches an assault on the pornography of everyday life. ‘Friction’ is a twisted, black, original, and very funny debut novel which will be loved by fans of Michel Houllebecq, and should cement Stretch’s status as a hot new literary star of 2008!

‘Friction’ is released in paperback on 4th March 2008, priced £8.99.

* Image from book cover.