‘Remember, if you are going to express your own personal hang ups, then be sure to do it in such a stylised way that the reader has no way of realising you hate the thing.’

John Carey’s debut novella follows a young man’s fragmented view of an evening in his Northern England. With hints of neo-gothic influences amidst honest observation and confession, this experiment in an author’s self-obsession combines with the ruins of polemic. Honesty is the key word here, with poignancy lost amongst the grey nature of youthful existence. Adjective Narcissism blends a critique of the rules of literature and narrative design with the arrogance of a protagonist aware of his role.