BOOK REVIEW / In Brief: Pepper by Tristan Hawkins: Flamingo, pounds 5.99

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The Independent Culture
A pacy first novel about being down and out and wrecked in London which will make most sense to readers who are highly conversant with today's recreational pharmaceuticals. (Does doing a 'gram of Billy' mean the character will be up or down? And how about 'Busbar'?) A 24-year-old advertising executive sloshes and snorts his way out of his job and his flat. He also loses his dog, his brain cells and his girlfriend Pepper. Underneath all the fear and loathing is a moral tale and a love story struggling to surface. Tristan Hawkins can be slick and funny: he'll be a writer to watch - especially once he gets over his fascination with bodily functions.

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