Frode Grytten

Burn Down the House

Brenn huset ned

A novel about The Clash in the USA.
Joe sits in his hotel room with jetlag and aching hands. New York is going to be all his, but on the TV screen he sees the announcement of his own death.
Mick grew up at his grandmothers, with piss in the flat stairwells and a guitar as his only way out. Finally he´s become everything he´d always dreamed of being.
Paul is the most handsome boy of his generation, but Pearl is the only one he wants. Beautiful Pearl who´s been hurried to hospital in a coma.
Topper is the King of Broadway, the best drummer in the world for two hours every night. He spends the rest of the day trying to destroy himself.

Burn Down the House is the story of four men who made up an exceptional punk band. The book opens in the summer of 1981, New York is in the grip of a heat wave and of English rock´n´roll. The band is at the height of their success and close to the edge. Frode Grytten portrays the group who rejuvenated rock with an aggression and an intensity that captured the zeitgeist of the late 1970s.
Burn Down the House propels at a pace that mirrors its main characters – Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon. The story takes the reader back to a different time, place and headspace. It´s the early 1980s. Things are changing – culturally, economically and politically. The Clash and British music are conquering the USA.
This novel is made to be read with the soundtrack up full and is filled with biographical titbits for hard core fans of The Clash.

Bok 453
Forfatter 453
Photo: Paal Audestad

Frode Grytten has previously written passionately about the music of The Smiths, Patti Smith, and Bruce Springsteen – artists, who for many defined the 1980s. Burn Down the House contains settings recognizable from Grytten´s other works as well as familiar themes of isolation, loneliness, alienation and defiance.

Grytten made his literary début in 1983 with a collection of poems. He has published several volumes of short stories, novels and children’s books. His breakthrough novel Beehive Song (Bikubesong), 1999, earned him the Brage Prize and was nominated for the Nordic Council’s Prize for Literature. The stories were put on stage with considerable success in 2003 and 2013. In 2005 Grytten wrote the literary crime Floating Bear (Flytande bjørn) – and with this novel he placed himself in the front line among Norway’s contemporary authors. In 2007 the collection Rooms by the Sea, Rooms in the City (Rom ved havet, rom i byen) was published; stories inspired by the painter Edward Hopper. In 2011 he wrote the trilogy Saga Night (Saganatt).