A detective story set on a Routemaster bus,
Simon Okotie's debut novel is as humorous as it is compelling.
'Style makes this offbeat début novel remarkable.' The Financial Times

Simon Okotie was born to Nigerian/ English parents. His family moved to rural Norfolk in the late seventies – seemingly one of few black families in the region. Whatever Happened to Harold Absalon? was conceived on his evening commute from work, as a transport consultant in central London, to Birkbeck, where he was studying philosophy. He also wrote a play on his morning commute from Kilburn to Oxford Circus, on the 189 bus.

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Final Cover

“Style makes this offbeat debut novel remarkable.’” Financial Times

“…bold and compelling.” Eastern Daily Press

“…short and entertaining.” Hackney Citizen

“…the making of a modern classic.” 3:am Magazine

“…wonderfully funny and original.” Salvēte! blog

“…like no book I have ever read before.” Slightly Bookist blog

“ …the arrival of a staggeringly original voice.’ Lee Rourke, author of The Canal

“…a very clever book.” Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, in the FT

“I read the first two chapters but nothing, not even being on a desert island with no other reading material would tempt me to read any more.” A reviewer on Amazon.

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Glossary of Terms


An Hotel n. “…Notice how the use of ‘an’, adds a frisson of perhaps sexual excitement to the word hotel and that the means by which it does this is by effectively silencing the ‘h’, thereby transporting, at a stroke, the hotel from the Anglo Saxon world to the Gallic world, with the concomitant sense of style and relaxed sexual expressiveness that that entails…”

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