The Deputy Editor of the architecture and design magazine Icon, Will Wiles usually spends his days admiring articles of astonishing aesthetic value. But in his debut novel Care of Wooden Floors, he instead seems set on administering a slow and painful death to a beautifully designed and immaculately kept apartment. This is a horror story for designers, architects and control freaks everywhere. The owner of said pristine flat is Oskar, a minimalist composer, who has left his home in an Eastern European city to travel to LA to seek a divorce from his wife, a Californian art dealer; entrusting the care of his perfect apartment, and two beloved cats, to an old university friend. Things do not go well. Care of Wooden Floors underpins how tiny oversights can trip off a disastrous chain of consequences. It's about a friendship between two men who don't know each other very well. It's about alienation and being alone in a foreign city. It's about the quest for perfection and the struggle against entropy. And it is, a little, about how to take care of wooden floors.
Wile’s debut is one of the Waterstone's 11 (the bookseller's pick of the best debut novels of 2012); was a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime; and was longlisted for the 2012 Desmond Elliott Prize. Described by Michael Frayn as, ‘highly idiosyncratic, well-written, with a vivid sense of place,’ and as a ‘smart and polished debut’ by the Independent, this is one book not to miss out on this summer.