Empty Wigs

By Jonathan Meades£30.00 + Shipping
Status: being written
Publication Date: TBCAvailable
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About The Book

It has been twenty years since Jonathan Meades last published a novel.

Empty Wigs is at least five books in one: a giddinesss-inducing 900-page masterpiece which will cement his reputation as one of the great literary writers of our age.

Meades’ has been compared to Hogarth, Swift and Rabelais. This massive book shows why. It makes most modern fiction look thin and pusillanimous by comparison. Empty Wigs is a return to the novel's origins: stories within stories, frames within frames, mazes within mazes, colliding narratives, 'realities' which elide and separate, quick changing moods.

A hallucinatory ride in a gilded vessel through the sickness and labyrinthine squalor of the long twentieth century and its many poisonous antecedents. Many of Empty Wigs' stories are indeed bleak, perverse, harrowing. Many are tragically farcical. Some of its characters are irremediable. Others are merely flawed.

But the writing is neon-rich, gorgeous and baroque, funny and joyfully offensive.

Bosch and Goya, Dix and Schad...They didn’t do Mr Nice Guy. They did not suffer from angelism.

Nor does Meades


‘Meades is a very great prose stylist, with a dandy's delight in the sound and feel of words, and we are lucky to have him.' Ian Thomson, Spectator

‘Richly entertaining, invigorating, and provoking; the fearless Meades is to non-fiction what Michel Houellebecq is to the good-taste mongers and mutual masturbators of the fiction scene.’ Tim Richardson, Literary Review

Image credits: Design by Mecob. Book designs, cover and other images are for illustrative purposes and may differ from final design.

Meades has been compared, favourably, to Rabelais and, flatteringly, to Swift. The truth is that he outstrips both in the gaudiness of his imagination.
Henry Hitchings, Times Literary Supplement

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  • Updates From The Author

    Audio Extract 2

    The second in a regular series of exclusiove excerpts from Empty Wigs, read by Jonathan himself. This is taken from the novel's fourth section – narrated by the aristocrat Sir Geoffrey Shadoxhurst. He...

    Audio Excerpt no 1

    The first in a regular series of excerpts from Empty Wigs, read by Jonathan himself. This is taken from the second section – narrated by the aristocrat Sir Geoffrey Shadoxhurst. Here he recounts how a...


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