Posted on 9th March 2011

By Jemima Hunt, Writer and agent

Fiction Uncovered by… Jemima Hunt

As I’m reluctantly dragged into the world at 7am by the Today programme (more cuts, closures and deforestation) my thoughts invariably turn to escape. For those of us who remember a gentler, happier world, Henry Sutton’s sixth novel, Get Me Out of Here, (Harvill Secker) echoes a familiar sentiment. Through antihero Matt Freeman, Sutton has brilliantly captured the frustrations and grind of daily life; dealing with call centres, blank faced shop assistants, public transport, politicians’ bluff. Freeman’s paranoia balloons into murderous tendencies; Sutton’s paranoia, on the other hand, feeds his writing – and in particular his satire.

What I’ve always admired about Sutton’s books is their dissections of modern life and breathless claustrophobia. He’s brilliant at existential ennui, the stream-of consciousness behind a flight attendant’s lipstick smile (Flying), the nail-biting tedium of waiting to exchange on a house (The Househunter). Given his psychological acumen, it’s not surprising that Sutton should have turned to crime. He’s just co-written a crime novel under the pen name James Henry. Personally, I prefer the gentler stuff.

Henry Sutton is the author of six novels, a book of short stories and a co-written crime novel. He reviews widely, has judged a number of literary awards and teaches creative writing at the UEA. He lives in Norwich with his family.


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