Grass Stains, By Kirsty Robinson

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The Independent Culture

One literary agent refuses to read past the first page of submissions which begin with the protagonist waking up hungover. There is much to be said for that policy. Grass Stains begins with a hangover, which pretty much sets the tone for all that follows.

Louisa is 30, a style-magazine journalist, serious partygoer, drinker and cocaine snorter. Her marriage to ne'er-do-well Dan is in trouble and the two of them are off to spend the weekend at the Glastonbury Festival. A bunch of their shallow, hedonistic mates also pitch up. Lots of drinking, smoking, toking, snorting, swearing, quarrelling, fighting and re-evaluation of life-choices ensue. Louisa meets another man who is marginally less shallow than the other characters.

The writing is breathless, artless, direct to a fault: "What's happened to everyone and at what point did I lose the ability to gauge what's going on in my life?" Chicklit-meets-ladlit. But it's readable enough and if you wanted something undemanding to read when drunk at a festival, it would fit the bill.