Kill Your Friends is really dark, really nasty and sickeningly funny
- James Patterson
Set in the world of A&R in the late nineties, KILL YOUR FRIENDS tells the story of machiavellian Steven Stelfox who will stop at nothing to pursue his ambitions. He lies, cheats and scams his way through work on a daily basis, fuelled by vast quantities of recreational drugs and an utter disregard for the truth.
But the world of A&R is beginning to change: the heady excess condoned by the free-for-all philosophy of Thatcher’s Britain is making way for a new generation of young Turks who are forging their way to the top, Blairite style. And amazing though it may seem to Stelfox, their success is not based on how on much ‘chang’ they can consume at any one music fest but on hard-work and ‘integrity’.
Steven’s laughter soon changes to horror when he realizes that the old order is crumbling and his position within the company is under threat. As the stakes get higher and he struggles to compete with his contemporaries who are fast out-stripping him, Steven takes radical action and he will stop at nothing, literally nothing, to ensure that the wheel of fortune turns in his favour…
It may break all the bounds of common decency but, drawing on the tradition of novels such as MONEY and AMERICAN PSYCHO, KILL YOUR FRIENDS succeeds as a brilliant and definitive satire on the vacuity and excesses of the music industry.
John Niven spent a number of years working as an A&R manager. His first book, MUSIC FROM BIG PINK, a fictional novella set in the world around Bob Dylan and the Band in Woodstock in the 1960s, was critically acclaimed on publication in 2007. Film rights to the book were acquired by Stephen Butterworth. John is also the author of KILL YOUR FRIENDS (his cult satire on the music industry, which longlisted for the Desmond Elliot Award) THE AMATEURS and THE SECOND COMING, all of which were published by William Heinemann to critical acclaim and universal press coverage.