The Massive


2013 Longlisted: The Kills by Richard House

The_KillsRating: 4.5
The Kills
A Novel by Richard House
2013 / 913 Pages

Has anybody ever told you it’s not coming true

What could I possibly have left to write about Richard House’s Booker nominated conspiracy masterpiece that I haven’t written already?

This article exists less as a proper book review and more as a placeholder from which to link out to each of my previously published reviews of the four stand-alone novels – Sutler (book one), The Massive (book two), The Kill (book three), and The Hit (book four) – that combine to form The Kills.

The overall verdict: you should drop everything and read this novel. For more detailed explanations as to why, see each of the linked articles below.



2013 Longlisted: The Hit by Richard House (The Kills: Book Four)

The_HitRating: 4.5
The Hit (The Kills: Book Four)
A Novel by Richard House
2013 / 261 Pages

There is a world inside the world

The Kills is a 2013 Man Booker Prize nominated volume from Richard House which is comprised of four stand-alone novels. The Hit is the fourth of these novels.

In Don DeLillo’s classic 1988 novel Libra, a fictionalized Lee Harvey Oswald repeatedly insists that “There is a world inside the world.” Emphasizing his belief that buried beneath the surface of the visible, lurking just out of sight, is some second layer of complex hidden truths that are driven by incomprehensible machinations, this succinct statement compactly echoes the fear of conspiracy theorists and paranoid delusionists the world over.



2013 Longlisted: The Kill by Richard House (The Kills: Book Three)

The_KillRating: 3.5
The Kill (The Kills: Book Three)
A Novel by Richard House
2013 / 256 Pages

Fate up against your will

The Kills is a 2013 Man Booker Prize nominated volume from Richard House which is comprised of four stand-alone novels. The Kill is the third of these novels.

Richard House is about to put an extreme amount of faith in you as a reader, but the real question is how much do you trust him as a writer?

As book three of his addictively mind-blowing epic The Kills gets underway, it appears as though House has hit the pause button on his tale of military conspiracy in order tell a completely different, yet just as interesting side story about a grisly murder that takes place in the basement of an Italian palazzo. Trust him. Even if this drama seems unconnected to the main narrative that’s been building for the previous 500+ pages in the series, this detour will eventually make some sense.



Know Your Booker!: Richard House’s The Massive (The Kills: Book Two)

The_MassiveSo you think you know everything there is to know about The Massive, the second book in Richard House’s Booker nominated novel The Kills? Test your knowledge against our GoodReads quiz here!

What’s it about?

The Massive is described by the book’s publisher Picador as follows:

Rem Gunnersen needs work. His wife needs a vacation. Cathy won’t get her vacation. Rem’s job will kill him.

Down on his luck and desperate for money, Rem Gunnersen accepts an unusual proposition: to lead a team of seven men to Camp Liberty. A remote military base in the Iraqi desert, it is the place where the detritus of war is incinerated, buried, removed from memory. For a long time the camp has been unmanned. Rem and his men have no idea why they need to be there. Then Stephen Lawrence Sutler arrives.

The Massive is book two of The Kills.



2013 Longlisted: The Massive by Richard House

The_MassiveRating: 4
The Massive (The Kills: Book Two)
A Novel by Richard House
2013 / 311 Pages

I shoulda learned to play the guitar

The Kills is a 2013 Man Booker Prize nominated volume from Richard House which is comprised of four stand-alone novels. The Massive is the second of these novels.

It would be bad enough if the only problem facing Rem Gunnersen with regards to his self-owned and operated business was that of financial ruin.  Yes, he’s drowning in debt.  Yes, he’s desperate for money.  Yes, he’s staring the very real possibility of bankruptcy in the face.  Problems of cash flow, difficult as they can be, are fixable in a multitude of ways.  Having to recover from any damage done to his professional reputation however is something that would prove to be a much more arduous task.  At the start of The Massive, Rem finds himself in the unenviable position of having to deal with both issues, one as a direct consequence of the other.



2013 Longlisted: Sutler by Richard House

SutlerRating: 4.5
Sutler (The Kills: Book One)
A Novel by Richard House
2013 / 302 Pages

Emotionally Devastating

The Kills is a 2013 Man Booker Prize nominated volume from Richard House which is comprised of four stand-alone novels. Sutler is the first of these novels.

“Listen. There’s a problem and it can’t be solved. You need to disappear.”

Stringing together these thirteen simple words in a way that aches with urgency, Richard House launches into an alluring piece of political crime fiction that sidesteps the trappings of the genre tag placed on it and boldly defies classification. Some might argue that this particular “type” of novel doesn’t merit a spot on the Man Booker longlist. They’d be wrong.