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A rare novel ... rollicking (Josephine Livingstone Dazed & Confused 2015-01-03)
Christofi's debut novel is both charming and funny, and not a little affecting, too ... there's enough here to show you the author has plenty more to offer and that, like his hero, he definitely has his heart in the right place. (Daily Mail 2015-01-30)
This first novel makes me want to use words like "sparkling", "sharp", "translucent" - not surprising, since it is about glass and one man's obsession with it ... Christofi's writing really does gleam with wit, inventiveness and an offbeat charm. (Kate Saunders The Times 2015-02-07)
Eccentricity ... alongside raw emotion ... a promising debut from an intriguing new voice. (We Love This Book 2015-02-10)
It's a tale about growing up, one that's as funny as it is touching. A talent to keep an eye on. (Shortlist 2015-02-18)
A confident and frequently adroit first novel ... enjoyably mercurial and quixotic (Morning Star 2015-02-18)
Charming, quirky, unexpected ... Christofi is a writer to watch. Witty and incredibly inventive. (Saga 2015-02-27)
[An] impressive, tightly paced coming-of-age story ... Armed with a holster of toxic cleaning products and a simple desire to become a better window cleaner, Gunter is part James Bond, part Everyman. Christofi delivers a multi-layered story that follows one man's refracted path through life's prism. (Zoe Apostolides Financial Times 2015-02-28)
Entertaining and affecting (Russell Leadbetter Herald Scotland 2015-02-28)
By far the most fun I've had with a British debut novel since Ned Beauman's Boxer, Beetle ... The comedic, mock-picaresque approach should appeal to fans of Beauman, Joshua Ferris, Matthew Quick, or even the Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner ... With a first novel this good, great things are surely in store for Alex Christofi. I daresay you'll take Günter Glass to your heart and follow his misadventures with rapt amusement. (Rebecca Foster BookHugger 2015-03-02)
Glass is pure. Glass is transparent. Glass is sharp.
Günter Glass, ex-milkman and aspiring window-cleaner, is certainly pure. And he's pretty transparent. But the jury's still out on how sharp he is.
What naïve young Günter does have is a head for heights and, ever since he visited a glassblower's workshop as a child, an unusual fixation with glass. When a minor adventure up the spire of Salisbury Cathedral makes Günter a local celebrity, John Blades - window-cleaner to the stars - comes calling. He wants Günter to join him in London to clean Europe's tallest skyscraper, the newly constructed Shard in London Bridge.
With his mother recently passed away, his dad retired and no money to pay off the mortgage, Günter takes Blades up on his offer and soon finds himself, for the first time, among the bright lights of London. He has his first experience of romantic love with short-range psychic Lieve Toureau, tries not to encourage Blades' frequent racist outbursts, and cohabits a Hackney 'bachelor-pad' with a reclusive landlord who has spent decades writing a never-ending book in his cork-lined bedroom. But above all, Günter spends his time trying to figure out how to be good and follow his dear departed mother's advice as best he can.
Will Günter find his way along the straight and narrow? Or will his innocence put him on collision course with the frequently baffling modern world?
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