I have a copy of Kismet by Luke Tredget on my TBR and it looks fantastic. I’m thrilled to welcome Luke to Linda’s Book Bag today as part of the launch celebrations for Kismet so that he can tell me more about it.
Staying in with Luke Tredget
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Luke. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me and tell me more about Kismet.
Thanks for having me Linda.
Tell me, what can we expect from an evening in Kismet?
You can expect a story that is relatable to many people, since it is set in a very recognisable version of London and features a main character, Anna, who is stumped by a very common problem – whether or not to accept the imminent proposal of her long term boyfriend, or give it all up in the hope of finding someone more exciting. To help her make the decision she has an app (Kismet, which gives the book its name), which in the world of the novel has completely replaced normal dating, because it is so effective at using our online data to match us with compatible strangers.
(Now that IS an interesting premise for a narrative – especially as I once found myself in a similar situation to Anna – but in those days there was not even Internet!)
Because of this near-future element, and the questions it poses about the role of social media and technology, many have compared the book to the TV series Black Mirror. But because it is essentially a romantic tale about a comically flawed heroine, others have compared it to Bridget Jones. I certainly didn’t set out to create such a hybrid, but I’m definitely happy with those comparisons!
(I imagine you’re thrilled by them. I certainly can’t wait to read Kismet and find out for myself.)
What else have you brought along and why?
I have brought the ingredients needed to heighten the reader’s empathy with Anna, the protagonist. A bottle of white wine (if you matched Anna glass for glass throughout the book, you’d be in a sorry state), a laptop with a Spotify account and expensive speakers (Anna puts almost as much faith in Spotify to suggest music for her as she does Kismet to suggest suitable men), and a series of tapas dishes to keep appetites at bay (the climax of the novel is centred around a Spanish themed birthday dinner party at Anna’s flat).
(I can’t drink the wine but I can certainly help out polishing off the tapas!)
And finally, since the book features so many phones (and the phones in the book cause people such mischief), it will be necessary for all guests to leave their own phones at home! If such a thing is physically possible….
(Oo – I’m not sure that is possible in today’s world but we can certainly give it a try!)
Thanks so much Luke, for telling us more about Kismet. Congratulations on your debut and good luck. I’m off to begin reading it!
Anna is in love.
Or maybe not.
She’s a free spirit: definitely happy.
Or is it more panicked?
In any case, she is living life to the full. Or maybe to the edge.
And having a glass of wine.
With a big birthday just around the corner, an important new project at work, and a boyfriend she suspects might be about to ask her a significant question, Anna should feel like she has it all together. But somehow, she just doesn’t seem to be sure about, well, anything. So she gets out her phone and decides to download Kismet.
Will she embrace the life she has, or risk everything for the life she imagines?
With the warmth of David Nicholls and the off-kilter charisma of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, Kismet is a love story about imperfect people in a world obsessed with perfect matches.
Kismet is available for purchase in all the usual places, including directly from publishers Faber and Faber.
About Luke Tredget
Luke Tredget is an aid worker and writer based in London. He works for the Red Cross, and his journalism has featured in the Guardian. His first novel, Elation, was shortlisted for the Luke Bitmead Bursary in 2013. He completed the Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck in 2015, and his novel Kismet will be published by Faber and Faber (UK) and Little, Brown (US) in 2018.
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