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Review of The Arena of the Unwell by Liam Konemann

i-D describes The Arena of the Unwell as "A sweaty, sticky mosh pit of a novel" and they got it exactly right. Liam Konnemann's debut is a submersive tale of the North London indie music scene. It's hangovers and bar fights, it's toxic relationships and therapy sessions and it's bloody brilliant. 

The book centres around Noah, a young, queer, music-loving man who we meet at a Smiling Politely comeback gig. It's also where Noah has a meet-cute with sexy bartender Dylan who he's often fantasized about when in the pub. From there he is drawn to Dylan's co-dependent relationship with his flatmate Fraser, a typically broody indie boy. Inevitable messiness ensues. 

Konemann writes with the ability to transport you to wherever he describes. It's a frank and funny love letter to the indie music scene and a touching portrayal of mental health struggles, messy relationships and coming of age.

Review by Abi.

The Arena of the Unwell was published on 26/05/22 by 404 Ink.

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