Penguin £7.99 (311pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The News Where You Are, By Catherine O'Flynn
Friday 11 February 2011
Catherine O'Flynn's prize-winning debut What Was Lost was set in the dystopian world of a Midlands shopping mall. In her second novel, it is a regional TV studio that becomes the symbol for mass culture gone sour.
O'Flynn's protagonist, Frank, is a newsreader known for his terrible puns and lack of ambition. A sweet-natured man, more interested in nonentities than celebrities, he has taken to performing random acts of mourning for those who have died alone.
Also on his mind is solving the mystery of who killed his predecessor, TV legend Phil Smethway. O'Flynn has a knack for tender comedy: her portrait of urban disenchantment shows a determination to squeeze humanity out of the most soulless of environments.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints Top Gear days are over following Jeremy Clarkson's BBC exit
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest