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The Singer

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction, Crime

The Singer

Cathi Unsworth

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847654724 (13 Jun 2013)

About the book

The legend goes like this: Vincent Smith met bandmates Stevie Mullin and Lynton Powell at a Sex Pistols concert, where he tried to kiss Sid Vicious? guitar and got a bloody nose. Together they formed Blood Simple, and for a while they made a lot of noise, a bit of money and caused a sensation wherever they went. Then Vincent eloped with Sylvana, singer for the ethereal Mood Violet, and it all went wrong. Six months later Sylvana committed suicide, the band fell apart, and Vincent disappeared. That was 1981 and twenty years on, journalist Eddie Bracknell hopes the story of Blood Simple will be the making of him. He?s got a book contract and the right contacts, it?s just that he can?t get the different stories he?s heard to fit together, never mind trying to work out what happened to Vincent. A compelling crime novel and a very modern fable, The Singer brings the intoxicating days of punk back onstage, with all its noisy creativity and explosive violence.

About the author

Cathi Unsworth began her journalistic career at 19 while still studying at the London
College of Fashion. Headhunted by Melody Maker, she worked there as a freelance
feature writer/reviewer for several years before joining Bizarre magazine. Her own writing is
inspired by the late Derek Raymond, whom she met when she interviewed him for Melody
Maker and who encouraged her to follow the crime-writing path. She is the editor of
London Noir, a collection of London crime stories published by Serpent's Tail.


An astonishingly evocative and emotional telling of the tale, a heartbreaking elegy for the blank generation.

- Jake Arnott

What can I say? Cathi Unsworth has written the Great Punk Novel, so I can scratch that off my list of ambitions! The Singer is a compulsive and engrossing book, the characters and the narratives utterly convincing.

- David Peace

An evocative portrait of the music industry... a cracking mystery... Unsworth writes convincingly about the raw power of punk and captures the feeling of optimism and innocence that was lost in the Thatcher years... a captivating page-turner and, for this reader, a thoroughly enjoyable pogo down memory lane.

- Laura Wilson, Guardian

The best novel I have read about the punk era, and an absorbing mystery... a sad memory of an exciting, destructive and doomed era.

- Marcel Berlins, The Times

The Singer digs deep into the boneyard of punk rock summoning the schizophrenic spirit of an explosive movement of intense passion, numbing frustration, bitter disappointment and the wild aspiration that through music and camaraderie one can actually rise above the day to day bullshit and bite off a little piece of heaven before evaporating back into the ether. Beautifully written, hard hitting and haunting.

- Lydia Lunch

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction, Crime