The Odyssey
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About the Author

Lara Williams is the author of Treats and Supper Club. Treats was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Edinburgh First Book Award and the Saboteur Awards and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, and Supper Club won the Guardian 'Not the Booker' Prize, was named as a Book of the Year 2019 by TIME and Vogue, and has been translated into six languages. Lara Williams lives in Manchester and is a contributor to the Guardian, Independent, Times Literary Supplement, Vice, Dazed and others.

Reviews

This book is a serious vibe and wickedly funny. It's a slyly poignant satire on cruise ships, crappy jobs and capitalism from the author of the also-incredible Supper Club
*Cosmopolitan, Best Books to Read in April*

Far from normal... Williams has a deft touch in developing, by the accretion of small details, a sense of the strangeness of her characters and their situation - the feeling that the world is spinning imperceptibly off its axis
*The Times*

This is darkly comic existential fiction at its best, for fans of Ottessa Moshfegh, Sam Byers and Sayaka Murata... A subversive satire on consumer capitalism and the millennial search for meaning
*Culture Whisper*

Williams succeeds in satirising the seemingly unmockable: the overwhelming absurdities of modern life... There's more than a hint of a fever dream about the whole affair... Comparisons with Ottessa Moshfegh's My Year of Rest and Relaxation are unavoidable
*Literary Review*

Lara Williams is the queen of smart modern satire. Sharp and evocative, funny and dark, The Odyssey captures the joy and the weirdness of work, travel, ambition, and being a human woman who wants things. I could read her all day
*Emma Jane Unsworth, author of 'Adults'*

Slyly humorous, sharp, courageous and at times devastating... The Odyssey is a wildly original satire about the struggle to forge human connection and the craving for some semblance of order when one's life has fallen apart. Startlingly unique and beautifully written
*Frances Cha, author of 'If I Had Your Face'*

Astonishing, subversive and darkly funny - The Odyssey is another dazzler of a novel from the bold and highly perceptive Lara Williams
*Zeba Talkhani, author of 'My Past is a Foreign Country'*

Perceptive, enigmatic and thought-provoking - I couldn't put it down. Wonderful!
*Amelia Horgan, author of 'Lost in Work'*

Mischievous and thought-provoking
*Sheerluxe, Best Books to Read in April*

I have never read anything like this... Deliciously unpredictable, a testament to Lara Williams' fearlessness in diving into the absurd, cringeworthy, and downright uncomfortable aspects of life
*Mateo Askaripour, author of 'Black Buck'*

Lara Williams dissects Ingrid's character layer by layer, building the story through a series of tantalizing, frequently bizarre reveals that show exactly how this troubled woman ended up on a cruise ship that, like her, is falling apart. Readers who enjoy Melissa Broder and Ottessa Moshfegh will appreciate this surreal trip through a troubled woman's psyche
*Booklist*

I loved this surreal retelling of the Odyssey set in the pressure-cooker environment of a cruise ship, the ideal site for her gripping takedown of workplace culture. Unhinged guru-god-boss Keith is a chillingly accurate echo of managerial bullshit - beneath their standard issue tracksuits, his staff vibrate uncannily with repressed trauma and sexual frustration. Our 'hero' Ingrid's quest for self-improvement serves as a warning that however hard you try, finally, you cannot hide from yourself. The Odyssey is a darkly comic anti-bildungsroman that sends up the idea of 'professional development' and the profound alienation of the contemporary workplace
*Rebecca May Johnson, author of 'Small Fires'*

Slender and mysterious, The Odyssey is equal parts satire and elegy, coming from the very edge of the abyss... It is a book that demands of the reader just as much as it rewards them with. Williams is so good at calling attention to the dangerous borders of our day-to-day lives: the story of a lone woman's yearning [and] a universal warning against complacency. Unsettling, risk-taking, profoundly moving - I loved it
*Livia Franchini, author of 'Shelf Life'*

The Odyssey is destined to become a classic of avoidance literature. With terrific bite, Lara Williams disorients her protagonist and her readers. Dislocated by the interminable movement between grime and gloss, the sea and land, we all just might outwit what we most want to escape
*Amy Key, poet and author*

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