The Killing of Butterfly Joe

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What to expect

‘A wonderful entertainment’ The Times
‘Larger-than-life fun’ Daily Mail

I killed Joe once, in a manner of speaking. But not twice. Not in the way you mean.’

Llew Jones wanted to see the States and write about the experience. Then he met Joe Bosco, a butterfly salesman as charismatic as he is infuriating, and they were soon hurtling across 1980s America together, caught up in an adventure that got way, way out of control. Now Llew is in jail, his friend is gone, and he has to give his side of the story if he’s ever going to get free . . .

Part existential road trip, part neo-gothic thriller, part morality tale, The Killing of Butterfly Joe by Rhidian Brook is a dazzling and propulsive novel full of characters you’ll never forget. An epic story of friendship, desire, and participating in the Great American Dream – ‘the one that leads from rags to riches via pitches’ – whatever the consequences.

Critics Review

  • A wonderful entertainment . . . a thoroughly readable and appealingly eccentric book

    The Times
  • An exuberant, coming-of-age romp . . . a bittersweet comedy of sentimental education . . . larger-than-life fun

    Daily Mail
  • A wild-eyed road trip across America, filled with colourful characters, crazy anecdotes, sparky dialogue . . . Brook’s writing remains as considered and enchanting as ever. And it’s funny too, which is always a wonderful thing

    Big Issue
  • A boldly unique book with an adventure story at its core . . . the biggest joy of this novel is in the brilliantly teased out sense of dread that starts the moment you pick up the book and read the title . . . a beautiful story, and beautifully told too . . . This novel is an adventure in every sense of the word
  • The Killing of Butterfly Joe is such a compelling, unusual, character-rich novel; a great pleasure to read.

    Gerard Woodward, author of I'll Go to Bed at Noon
  • A mixture of thriller and great family saga, told in a rich literary style. Like having all the cakes and eating them. If I condensed my thoughts into one word in would be “epic”.

    Joy Kluver, Literary Blogger

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