There was a book I read in the 90's, I guess. Set in Paris, it followed a bunch of punks who spent their time having firework fights in the catacombs under Paris, skating the streets on their anti-gravity skates, dressed in leathers, high, listening to soundscapes mapped to the geography of the streets.

The hero meets a crazy uptown heiress and after having an affair that ends badly, she tries to kill him, so he gathers his friends and invades her family's flying pyramid home.

God, I loved this book and I can't believe it isn't a famous classic. I suspect I read it when I was like 14 and in fact it was rubbish. ...but I don't really believe that, the ideas in it were so good.

Oh, and there was a bad guy called Two Tone, because his hair was dyed two colours, only then he dyed it all one so they called him... shit, I can't believe how bizarrely memory works.

Please god someone tell me the title because it's killing me.


The book is "Bad Voltage" by Jonathon Littell

"In the Paris of the future, a group of punk outlaws run riot. One of the gang rebels against the punks' newest fetish of cannibalism and becomes involved in an adventure with a computer network situated inside a stolen necklace."

Bad Voltage Cover

Littell himself described the book as "a very bad science-fiction novel". It's also notable that his next book won the Literary Review's annual "Bad sex in Fiction" award.

  • 4
    Dear Richard, thank you, I don't remember the canabalism but I do remember that cover, with those terrible haircuts, even that tagline. I'm looking forward to rereading it, good or bad.
    – gervase
    Jan 25 '14 at 20:53
  • 3
    When even the author slates it, you know it's gonna be bad. I expect you to report back afterwards...
    – Valorum
    Jan 25 '14 at 20:54
  • 3
    The Kindly Ones (which won the Bad Sex in Fiction award) is a controversial, incredibly well-researched, interesting, and very successful book that really disgusted me on multiple levels. Just saying this to point out it's a lot more than the (kitschy and repetitive) porn in it. Littell is a very talented, if really weird, writer.
    – SáT
    Jan 30 '14 at 13:29
  • So his professed disgust at his own writing may be less about self-knowledge and more about self-publicity.
    – Valorum
    Jan 30 '14 at 17:23
  • 1
    @gervase - Just a quick reminder that you've not yet pressed the "accepted" button to mark my answer as correct.
    – Valorum
    Jul 2 '16 at 9:55

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