The Arena of the Unwell

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The Arena of the Unwell

The Arena of the Unwell

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You hate them because they are exactly the kind of person you don't want to be, and exactly the kind of person you are. While this is someone who feels quite real the main issue I have with the book is that the author doesn't explore the dynamics of Noah's plight in a way that shows the character gaining any sense of self-awareness.

i felt seen and really connected to noah when reading the internal monologues of spiraling thoughts.How did you ground your work in the setting while also making it inviting to those unfamiliar with the terrain explored? While music is an undeniable component in Noah’s narrative, Smiling Politely serve a rather underwhelming function in the story.

I also would have liked Isaac to be given more page time, at least before Noah becomes wholly obsessed with Dylan/Fraser. Needed more fleshing out, there was brilliant build up in the first half, even up until the last third or so of the book. As well as a lot of new and upcoming books, many of which did not make the cut for these lists, I read a lot of horror (including a month of it in October) and plenty of poetry. In the strange and shifting dynamics between Noah, Dylan and Fraser, Konemann speaks to the sometimes messy, often complicated nature of queer relationships and desire – especially with a supposedly straight boy in the mix. After a gig from his favourite band Smiling Politely turns sour, twenty-something Noah finds himself panicked on the streets of London.He soon falls into the arms of Dylan, the cheeky, charming local barman Noah’s never quite had the courage to approach, who takes him back to his flat. All this makes The Arena sound quite dark, but, despite some of the subject matter, it is often very funny. There was a lot around who can find places within sports and fitness (and what kinds of bodies), which felt like the perfect use of body horror.

Instead, the story seems structured in a way where the fault lies entirely with the two men who draw them into their twisted (and frankly baffling) co-dependency. Read more about the condition New: An item that is still in its original shrink wrap from the manufacturer and the original manufacturer’s seal (if applicable) has not been removed. All the while, his NHS therapy hours are dwindling, and his job is becoming increasingly precarious. I was surprised not to appreciate this novel after having read (and loved) the novel “Love in the Big City” because the protagonist of that book is somewhat similar to Noah. It’s when he’s writing about music that Konemann really sings, with passages on gigs and club nights that capture the sticky, heady intensity of night life with writing that thrums off the page.A coming of age novel for people who like or came of age themselves deeply into music, The Arena of the Unwell spirals the reader into not only sticky floors and spilt pints, but a hard-to-put-down toxic relationship amidst the realities of NHS cuts for mental health services. The protagonist of debut novel “The Arena of the Unwell” is Noah, a 20-something North Londoner who is into indie music and feels “I'm a pretty sub-standard gay – not quite up to date on the culture and customs. After years away, his favourite band Smiling Politely announce a last-minute set in a nearby venue and everything starts to shift.

LK: I started writing the novel long before the idea for The Appendix even occurred to me, so to me The Arena of the Unwell is the template and The Appendix is the variation. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item. Their volatile relationship and living situation do not make for a good environment, as they seem to enable each other to engage in harmful behaviours. this book takes what it is to exist on the edge of things, never truly present or part of life, and transforms it into a tale of sexuality, mental health and general life. Queerness is just part of the novel, and that feels refreshing and not something I've seen in this kind of genre (though, admittedly, I'm not sure what kind of genre it is—music scene novel?The Arena of the Unwell already feels like it belongs to a bygone era of indie sleaze, and is all the better for it. The novel reminds us of the sense of renewal in hearing songs that resonate and the thrill of live music. Like Vine, Konemann has given his narrative a very nostalgic vibe, one that doesn’t see the past through rose-tinted lenses, quite the contrary. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket (if applicable) is included for hard covers. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 17/1/2024) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 17/1/2024).

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