Short-listed, Commonwealth Book Prize, 2013
Beautiful beaches, sexy young backpackers, cheap drinks: southern Thailand in the mid- 1990s is the perfect place for a holiday.
It’s also the perfect place for Billy—Loyalist hard man, NO SURRENDER chest tattoo, on the run from the Belfast police—to lie low. He’s turning away from a life of crime, but isn’t sure where to go.
A series of fights and one-night stands helps put his troubles out of mind for a while. But when Billy ends up in a Buddhist retreat he learns that no matter how far you travel, your past will always catch up with you.
A heady ride of sex, drugs and bar-room brawls, A Tiger in Eden is a raucous debut novel in the anti-tradition of Trainspotting and The Beach.
Chris Flynn gave a hilarious reading from A Tiger in Eden at a Debut Monday session at the Wheeler Centre. Read a blog post about it here.
‘A brilliant mix of hilarious and confronting that keeps refusing to be like any other book you’ve ever read. Dropping a Belfast hard man in paradise is an act of storytelling genius, and every word of the writing backs it to the hilt.’Nick Earls
‘A Tiger in Eden is the business: brutal, funny and surprisingly uplifting. You won’t read a better debut novel this year.’James Bradley
‘The voice of Flynn’s Billy is inviting and hilarious from the first. He’s a joy to read.’Adam Levin
‘It’s rare to find a story that’s both brutal and tender, funny and filthy, smart and unconventional. Flynn has created a character so rich that he walks right off the page and into your head. I’m obsessed with A Tiger in Eden and recommend it to friends more than any novel I’ve ever read.’Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance
‘Filthy, funny and often poignant, A Tiger in Eden is a cracking first novel by Melbourne writer Chris Flynn.’mX (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane)
‘If ever Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) had a love child, then A Tiger In Eden would be the result. The debut novel by Melbourne journalist Chris Flynn is brutal, hilarious and wholly surprising.’Daily Telegraph
‘Billy joins the pantheon of likeable, repugnant characters as Flynn turns the inside of Billy’s head into a colloquial playground. It’s Billy’s voice that makes it possible for A Tiger in Eden to be both an involving story of a henchman’s self-discovery through sex, drugs and Buddhism, and a reflection on how people and places can shape, damage and fix us.’Big Issue
‘Flynn’s triumph is in Billy’s voice…He articulates this turmoil in a brutal, direct and funny patois. You won’t forget him.’Sunday Star Times
‘…a fun, fast read with a emotional core that brings [it] up from what could have been just a hard man’s sex and violence holiday memoir to a satisfying and hopeful tale of redemption.’Scoop Review of Books
‘…Flynn’s deft characterisation of Billy and his eye for contrasting beauty with ugliness take this novel to a higher level.’Courier Mail