Kitchen Venom

Kitchen Venom

Philip Hensher

Pub date
B Format 129x198mm
336 pages
Download jacket

Book Overview

Winner of a Somerset Maugham Award 1997

A stunning novel of political life, betrayal and passion, which lifts the lid on vice within the Palace of Westminster…and cost Hensher his job as a House of Commons clerk.

John is a distinguished widower with a hump, two daughters, and an important job in the House of Commons. He also has a fondness for visiting rent boys in the afternoons, and a passion for secrecy…

About the author

philip hensher is Chief Literary Critic for the Spectator, and regularly reviews in the best UK and US newspapers and journals. His other books include The Mulberry Empire, Kitchen Venom, Pleasured and The Bedroom of the Mister’s Wife.


  • ‘Sharp and funny…a beautifully polished performance.’ Times Literary Supplement
  • ‘Sex, politics and death are the classic themes of Hensher’s original novel. Set in Parliament at the time of the fall of Margaret Thatcher, it follows the disintegration of the family of a Commons clerk…Hensher is both sharp and melancholic. Here he is on Thatcher: “When she walked she seemed to extinguish a cigarette beneath every pace; in her walk, it could be seen that she was in the right.”’ Observer
  • ‘Incisive characterisation, first-class dialogue…Set amid the wigs and gowns of parliamentary officialdom, Philip Hensher’s second novel exposes the hidden tensions in apparently banal lives.’ Sunday Telegraph