Poppy Loves Book Club
‘Vulgar Things’ by Lee Rourke

Poppy Loves Book Club - Vulgar Things - Lee Rourke


NEXT DATE: Wednesday 24th September, 7:30pm
TITLE: ‘Vulgar Things’ by Lee Rourke, published by 4th Estate.

For those of you that are new to Poppy Loves Book Club, my aim is to see women all around the world reading the same book at the same time.. and then coming together online to discuss it, no matter where they are.



“The idea you have created: women all around the world reading the same book at the same time is wonderful and empowering…” -Lee Rourke, author of Vulgar Things.

“Poppy’s Book Club is a delight. A group of passionate and avid readers who love to talk about books. I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening.” -Elizabeth Fremantle, author of Queen’s Gambit.

Poppy Loves Book Club - Notting Hill at Book and Kitchen

Poppy Loves Book Club – Notting Hill at Book and Kitchen

So no matter how old you are, where you live, or what your family, friends or financial situation is, there is a group of women waiting to meet you, who will welcome you and your thoughts on books, life and anything else that pops up… (You’d be surprised…)



I’m very pleased to announce that our next book club date is Wednesday 24th September, 7:30pm and our new book is Vulgar Things by Lee Rourke, published by 4th Estate. (You can pick up a copy over here.)

Exciting news: Lee Rourke will be joining us online for our discussions, so you’ll have an opportunity to ask him questions and chat with him directly. (I’m not sure he knows what he’s let himself in for….)

To join this discussion, in real life or online, please click here.

Look forward to seeing you there and thank you for signing up – it’s great to have you on board!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Book Description

The second novel from Lee Rourke, author of the cult hit ‘The Canal’.

Jon Michaels – a divorced, disaffected and fatigued editor living a nondescript life in North London – wakes one morning to a phone call informing him that his uncle has been found dead in his caravan on Canvey Island. Dismissed from his job only the day before and hung-over, Jon reluctantly agrees to sort through his uncle’s belongings and clear out the caravan. What follows is a quixotic week on Canvey as Jon, led on by desire and delusion, purposeful but increasingly disorientated, unfolds a disturbing secret, ever more enchanted by the island – its landscape and its atmosphere.

Haunted and haunting, ‘Vulgar Things’ is part mystery, part romance, part odyssey: a novel in which the menial entrances and the banal compels.


‘Sad, lost men looking for maps in the starry Essex sky, small-town strippers, absent mothers, angry brothers, planets photographed on smart phones, cider and a lot of rare steak – Rourke is on his way to becoming the J. G. Ballard of Southend-on-Sea.’ Deborah Levy

‘The poetry of estuary landscapes – muddy creeks, silhouettes of refineries, the slow passage of giant container ships, the flat horizon – shines through Lee Rourke’s prose with a black luminescence.’ Tom McCarthy

‘As poignant and unsettling as a beam of light hitting the night sky from across the far-off wastes.’ Eimear McBride

‘A consistently disturbing yet compelling vision of loss, violence and identity, “Vulgar Things” stalks the reader’s memory long after the last page. A novel of innovation and resonance, it is as bleak and as beautiful as a deserted coastline.’ Stuart Evers

‘Rourke now shares a publisher with Jonathan Franzen … Admirers may rest assured that in other respects Rourke has not sold out … Rourke writes under the spell of “The Waste Land” … [For T. S. Eliot] the sense that literature must embrace modern life wrestled with an equivalent urge to grip it in tweezers, nose held. You feel the same tension at work in “Vulgar Things”.’ Anthony Cummins, Literary Review

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