WE ARE THE NEW ROMANTICS by Niven Govinden

WE ARE THE NEW ROMANTICS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Debut about an ambitious party girl and her borderline hustler best friend who take Europe by storm.

The two party kids, DJ and Amy, are young Brits who—after a drunken New Year’s found them both dumped and disconsolate—decide to light out for the Continent, determined to live fast, not work, and grab as much as they can in the drinking/drugging/screwing department. They tell their story in tradeoffs, DJ giving his side and Amy coming in to refute half of what he’s just said. Though friends for years, they have a rocky relationship, illustrated by the fact that the story opens with DJ fellating Amy’s current boyfriend “under the table of some stinking club in not so gay Paris.” The two of them aren’t long for Paris in any case, with DJ upset with Amy for having actually gone and taken a job, while he believes himself to be sticking to their agreement by getting his money by theft and turning tricks. Soon, they’re in Madrid, rooming with a couple of drag cabaret performers, then not much later decamping for the Auvergne, where they’re saddled with Marilyn, a screechy young college boy who will finally follow them back to Paris, selling drugs and causing a rift between Amy and DJ. The tale is an epic of supreme selfishness, with DJ barely able to comprehend that there might be things he won’t be allowed to take, men who won’t want to sleep with him, situations where he won’t get his way. Amy appears moderately more mature, but it’s fleeting. There’s little chance to catch one’s breath between all the clubbing and random hook-ups, with the British author determined to keep his characters spiraling downward into a black hole of narcissistic self-obsession until they crack (or not—it’s not a very moral sort of story).

An entirely unromantic and unapologetic ode to doing what you want when you want—to hell with the consequences.

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 2004
ISBN: 0-7475-6593-7
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury UK/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2004




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