How to Leave the House

A Novel

Audiobook Download
On sale Aug 13, 2024 | 9 Hours and 0 Minutes | 9780593908792
“A wild and funny ride through modern life.” The Financial Times

It's Natwest's last day before he leaves for university, and there's only one thing on his mind: the deeply embarrassing package he ordered to his house - which still hasn't arrived. He won't leave town without it. Any alternative is too distressing to consider ...


This is the story of twenty-four hours in the life of Natwest, and his small-town odyssey in pursuit of the missing package. And yet it's also the story of a middle-aged dentist who dreams of being a respected artist - but the only thing he can seem to paint is the human mouth. And it's the story of a tortured imam involved in a quasi-romantic entanglement with the local vicar; and an octogenerian mourning the death of her secretive husband; and a troubled teenager whose nudes have leaked on the internet. It's the story of Natwest's obnoxious ex-boyfriend, and his class-traitor mother and her childhood boyfriend, and the life-changing secrets he knows about Natwest's past.

Alternating between Natwest's idiosyncratic inner world and the perspectives of the other characters - and dazzling in its energy, imagination and originality - this is an outrageously funny and tenderly moving story about being connected to everyone and everything at all times; about love, friendship, and the lies we tell ourselves; about unhappy endings, happy endings - and whether anything really is as simple as one or the other.
“It is a miracle to pull of the feat of being wickedly scabrous (incurring in this reader loud snorts of laugher throughout) and managing somehow to be generous and ultimately warm-hearted too; a miracle that Nathan Newman pulls off brilliantly. What a debut.” —Stephen Fry, actor and comedian

“It’s impossible not to be charmed by this big-hearted story. . . an exciting debut from an author whose assuredness and polish could easily be mistaken for that of an old pro.” Bustle

“Sometimes what you really need is a full-on caper. . . the novel collects a series of idiosyncratic characters, whose lives and loves and thoughts about art build to a hilarious cacophony not unlike our own.” —Lithub’s Most Anticipated List 2024

“A bawdy tale of the unseriousness of existence and the impossibility of knowing our neighbors. . . .How to Leave the House is fiction as friction, designed for discomfort. This is a novel of dichotomies that beg to be challenged, with psychological spaces that desperately need transparency but are inherently, tragically closed off to each other.” —Book Page

“Raucous. . . smart and funny, Newman’s debut is a refreshing take on juvenilia and the enduring potency of art discourse.” Kirkus

“Newman debuts with a witty and endearing mosaic novel…The situations are enjoyably farcical, but there’s also depth to them, as Newman delves into their characters’ hidden passions and shows how they grapple with their self-defeating choices. This raucous adventure is great fun.” Publishers Weekly

“Nathan Newman’s How to Leave the House is a brilliant exploration of the many absurd and human ways that our lives intersect. Their sharp, honest prose skillfully reveals the vulnerability and desire coursing through the center of characters. This is the rare novel that is just as compassionate as it is funny, as engaging as it is smart.” —Isle McElroy, author of People Collide

"How to Leave the House is gobby, barbed, and garrulous; a novel that takes swings, with swagger." —Eley Williams, author of The Liar's Dictionary

"Most books that claim to be funny aren’t actually all that funny. How to Leave the House is a rare exception – genuinely hilarious, utterly obnoxious, impressively daring." —Keiran Goddard, author of Hourglass
 
"Witty, sharply observed and truly original." —Nicola Dinan, author of Bellies
 
“A wild and funny ride through modern life.” The Financial Times
Nathan Newman is a novelist and filmmaker based in London. Their short stories have won awards and been published in literary journals and anthologies. Their debut novel is due to be published by Little Brown in the UK, and Viking Penguin in the USA. A television adaptation of How to Leave the House is being developed by Freemantle, with Nathan set to write the episodes. View titles by Nathan Newman

About

“A wild and funny ride through modern life.” The Financial Times

It's Natwest's last day before he leaves for university, and there's only one thing on his mind: the deeply embarrassing package he ordered to his house - which still hasn't arrived. He won't leave town without it. Any alternative is too distressing to consider ...


This is the story of twenty-four hours in the life of Natwest, and his small-town odyssey in pursuit of the missing package. And yet it's also the story of a middle-aged dentist who dreams of being a respected artist - but the only thing he can seem to paint is the human mouth. And it's the story of a tortured imam involved in a quasi-romantic entanglement with the local vicar; and an octogenerian mourning the death of her secretive husband; and a troubled teenager whose nudes have leaked on the internet. It's the story of Natwest's obnoxious ex-boyfriend, and his class-traitor mother and her childhood boyfriend, and the life-changing secrets he knows about Natwest's past.

Alternating between Natwest's idiosyncratic inner world and the perspectives of the other characters - and dazzling in its energy, imagination and originality - this is an outrageously funny and tenderly moving story about being connected to everyone and everything at all times; about love, friendship, and the lies we tell ourselves; about unhappy endings, happy endings - and whether anything really is as simple as one or the other.

Reviews

“It is a miracle to pull of the feat of being wickedly scabrous (incurring in this reader loud snorts of laugher throughout) and managing somehow to be generous and ultimately warm-hearted too; a miracle that Nathan Newman pulls off brilliantly. What a debut.” —Stephen Fry, actor and comedian

“It’s impossible not to be charmed by this big-hearted story. . . an exciting debut from an author whose assuredness and polish could easily be mistaken for that of an old pro.” Bustle

“Sometimes what you really need is a full-on caper. . . the novel collects a series of idiosyncratic characters, whose lives and loves and thoughts about art build to a hilarious cacophony not unlike our own.” —Lithub’s Most Anticipated List 2024

“A bawdy tale of the unseriousness of existence and the impossibility of knowing our neighbors. . . .How to Leave the House is fiction as friction, designed for discomfort. This is a novel of dichotomies that beg to be challenged, with psychological spaces that desperately need transparency but are inherently, tragically closed off to each other.” —Book Page

“Raucous. . . smart and funny, Newman’s debut is a refreshing take on juvenilia and the enduring potency of art discourse.” Kirkus

“Newman debuts with a witty and endearing mosaic novel…The situations are enjoyably farcical, but there’s also depth to them, as Newman delves into their characters’ hidden passions and shows how they grapple with their self-defeating choices. This raucous adventure is great fun.” Publishers Weekly

“Nathan Newman’s How to Leave the House is a brilliant exploration of the many absurd and human ways that our lives intersect. Their sharp, honest prose skillfully reveals the vulnerability and desire coursing through the center of characters. This is the rare novel that is just as compassionate as it is funny, as engaging as it is smart.” —Isle McElroy, author of People Collide

"How to Leave the House is gobby, barbed, and garrulous; a novel that takes swings, with swagger." —Eley Williams, author of The Liar's Dictionary

"Most books that claim to be funny aren’t actually all that funny. How to Leave the House is a rare exception – genuinely hilarious, utterly obnoxious, impressively daring." —Keiran Goddard, author of Hourglass
 
"Witty, sharply observed and truly original." —Nicola Dinan, author of Bellies
 
“A wild and funny ride through modern life.” The Financial Times

Author

Nathan Newman is a novelist and filmmaker based in London. Their short stories have won awards and been published in literary journals and anthologies. Their debut novel is due to be published by Little Brown in the UK, and Viking Penguin in the USA. A television adaptation of How to Leave the House is being developed by Freemantle, with Nathan set to write the episodes. View titles by Nathan Newman