Happy Publication Day to Andy Jones, Girl 99 is out today and I'm delighted to be able to share an extract from it. I'm also really looking forward to sitting down and reading my copy.
Published 14th February 2017
Available for purchase - http://amzn.to/2jSGPec
When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.
And so, for reasons that are only mostly wrong, Tom embarks on a mission to bring his number of encounters up to a nice neat one hundred.
Over the course of his quest he sleeps with a colleague, a colleague of a friend, a friend of a friend, a friend of a friend’s wife, the estate agent selling his flat and several more besides.
Everything is going, if not well, then at least according to plan…and then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.
Extract: The Book Club, where everyone apart from Tom are ages 65+Rather like Tropic of Capricorn, my host’s expression is hard to read.
‘It’s just so bleak,’ I say. ‘He spends the whole book drunk, miserable and entirely controlled by his . . . penis.’
The word – like the entity it represents – is out before I can stop it, as if it has a mind of its own, as if possessed by the ghost of Henry goddamned Miller.
‘I’m sorry,’ I say, from behind my hands. ‘I didn’t mean to . . .’
‘Quite all right,’ says Helen. ‘We’re all adults. Besides, we can hardly critique literature if we’re going to embargo its building blocks.’
‘Hear hear,’ says Mo.
‘Penis?’ says Cora.
Mo strokes Cora’s hand. ‘That’s right, dear.’
‘The thing is . . .’ I say. ‘The truth is, I found Tropic of Capricorn so utterly depressing because it reminded me of myself.’
The room is silent but for the sound of seven people leaning forward.
‘And this reminds you of you how?’ asks Mo kindly.
‘I’ve slept with a lot of women,’ I say, and everyone leans back, as if retreating into the safety of their chairs.
I nod gently, as if to confirm this revelation, as if I’m granting myself permission to continue. ‘All the time I was reading Henry Miller, I was thinking how sordid and pathetic and . . . and hollow his life was, but . . . well, that’s me all over, isn’t it?’
Jim nods as if, yes, he knows exactly what I mean. Vera’s mouth is puckered into an expression that could be born of several attitudes, but I’d put my money on disapproval. Helen twiddles her glasses chain. Mo smiles.
‘And then I met someone,’ I go on. ‘And then . . . and then I ruined it.’
‘You did the dirty on her?’ asks Agnes.
‘I was quite a one myself,’ says Cora, taking hold of my hand. ‘Is three an awful lot, do you think?’
Any other Monday, I’d shit myself laughing. But not today.
About Andy Jones
You can find Andy on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram as andyjonesauthor
Check out some other extracts of Girl 99 on some other lovely blogs today: