A Quickie with Stuart Turton

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

It’s called The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and it’s an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery set in a Groundhog Day loop, with the added twist that every time my protagonist wakes up he’s in the body of a different guest at the party, allowing him to interact with his past and future selves. It’s pretty unique, it moves really quickly, and it’s got a proper mystery at the centre of it that readers can work out for themselves if they keep an eye on the clues!

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

Daft ways to nearly die in three countries.

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

My book is full of horrible characters doing horrible things, and somebody asked which one of them was most autobiographical. Maybe they saw a mad glint in my eye or something…

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

Raymond Chandler. We’d sit around drinking gimlets all day, batting hard-boiled dialogue back and forth. If he wasn’t available, I’d love to share a typewriter with Douglas Adams. Every so often I feel like reading a Douglas Adams book and I get really sad that there’ll never be another one.

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

I once had to punch a dolphin in the face.

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

Only three? Monstrous. Okay… here goes. 

Children of Time – probably the cleverest book I’ve ever read, and the book that convinced me to start reading more widely in science fiction.

This is Going to Hurt – Very few books make me laugh out loud, and this did, while still being very sad. I want to buy a thousand copies, brick up Jeremy Hunt’s office with them, and not let him out until he realises the NHS is precious and agrees to cough up whatever money it needs.

Lincoln in the Bardo – One of those books that kept shifting shape in front of me. Every time I put it down, I’d have to tell my wife about a little line that had stuck with me. Writing beautifully while still being precise is really difficult to do, and George Saunders pulls it off wonderfully.

Who is Stuart Turton? Stuart Turton is a freelance travel journalist who has previously worked in Shanghai and Dubai. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is his debut novel. He is the winner of the Brighton and Hove Short Story Prize and was longlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines competition. He lives in West London with his wife.

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