Care of Wooden Floors

Will Wiles

A bold and brilliant debut from a darkly funny new voice.

Oskar is a minimalist composer best known for his piece ‘Variations on Tram Timetables’. He lives with his wife and two cats in an unnamed Eastern European city. But this book isn’t really about Oskar. Oskar is in Los Angeles, having his marriage dismantled by lawyers. Meanwhile, he has entrusted an old friend to take care of his perfect, beautiful apartment.

Despite Oskar leaving extensive notes on how to keep his flat in pristine condition, a tiny oversight initiates a chain of farcical, and even fatal, disasters. ‘Care of Wooden Floors’ is about loneliness, friendship and the quest for, and struggle against, perfection. And it is, a little, about how to take care of wooden floors.

Reviews of Care of Wooden Floors

    • ‘A very funny novel combining schadenfreude and belly laughs. Just don’t let Wiles flat-sit for you’ Independent
    • ‘This is a terrific first novel, written with a very engaging deadpan wit, and an understated sense of the absurd.’ Kate Saunders, The Times
    • ‘Ingenious … his story has something in common, in terms of manic sensitivity, with Edgar Allan Poes’ The Tell-Tale Heart … a smart and polished debut’ Daily Telegraph
    • ‘This novel acquires the queasy allure of a cliff edge, the sense of impending catastrophe becoming strangely compelling … addictive and rather clever, too’ Daily Mail
    • ‘Funny, beguiling and quietly profound; a wonderfully well-crafted debut’ TLS
    • “A nicely turned satire on the notion that the path to spiritual contentment lies in a pristine set of polished wooden floorboards … Wiles has an eye for beauty, but an even more impressive eye for ugliness … a novel full of impeccably stylish writing” Guardian
    • ‘Wiles is a talent to watch’ The Spectator
    • ‘Dark and funny in equal measures … a debut as crisp, slick and polished as a well-cared-for wooden floor’ Scotland on Sunday