Richard Milward - Kimberly’s Capital Punishment (5 stars)

Punchy, super-smart prose fuels Milward's bittersweet paean to London

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Richard Milward - Kimberly’s Capital Punishment

With two great books already under his belt, Richard Milward has got critics in a tizz with a devilishly intoxicating style that’s been compared to Irvine Welsh, JD Salinger, Gabriel García Márquez, Skins and the Arctic Monkeys. And this latest effort sees the young Middlesbrough-based author shift effortlessly from thrilling new talent to major literary force to be reckoned with.

Kimberly’s Capital Punishment starts with a suicide and the failing relationship of Stevie Wallace – a silver-eyed boy with a stutter – and loveable anti-hero Kimberly Clark, a girl ‘named after a toilet tissue dispenser’. And as their bleakly hilarious story unfolds, we encounter a surreal cast of London ‘brokeLads’, along with rats on pills and the concept of being reincarnated as a reptile.

Milward contemplates the Big Questions in a bittersweet paean to the UK capital in his own inimitable style and does so with his most impressive series of textual experiments, poetic flashes and lip-smacking imagery to date. His punchy, super-smart prose is driven by an irresistible energy and masterful flair.

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