Luke Brown


Paul’s charmed life is over. He is about to be kicked out of his flat in gentrified east London and his sister has gone missing after an argument about what to do with the house where they grew up. Now that their mother is dead this is the last link they have to the ever-more-diminished town on the north-west coast where they grew up.

He meets Emily Nardini, a reclusive and uncompromising writer. Her books are narrated by outcasts, but she receives him in her home in the wealthiest part of west London. Paul discovers Emily is living with Andrew Lancaster, a famous intellectual who is significantly older than her. Andrew has lived a successful life, and Paul has not. But perhaps this situation should be reversed, thinks Paul, who forms an alliance with Andrew’s daughter, Sophie, a journalist gaining attention for her hot takes on sex and revolution. Travelling up and down between the town he thought he had escaped and the city that threatens to chew him up, Paul longs to find where he belongs in a divided country.

Theft is an exhilarating howl of a novel. With heart, bite and humour, Luke Brown takes the reader beyond easy, partisan perspectives with this necessary and timely vision of a man and a country riven by envy and divisions.

Paperback: £11.99
Ebook: £6.99

About the Book

  • If you subscribe to And Other Stories before 31 July 2019, you will receive your copy of Theft – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – in November, before its official publication, as well us up to five other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
  • Read about Luke’s first novel and his decision to turn to writing in an interview with Bookanista.
  • Dolly Alderton talks about Theft as one of the books she read and loved this summer on her podcast, The High Low, listen here.


Print status: Upcoming
Author: Luke Brown
Original language: English
Format: B-Format Paperback with Flaps
Publication date (UK): 4 February 2020
Publication date (US): 7 April 2020
ISBN: 9781911508588
Ebook ISBN: 9781911508595
Availability: World English
Number of pages: 320


Alexandra Kleeman

‘It's a rare thrill to find a writer with Luke Brown's gift for nimbly navigating the maze of gentrification, Brexit, and the gig economy with dark, effervescent hilarity.  Theft is a funhouse mirror held up to the grim absurdity of our political moment, a quick-witted tale of generational crisis, and an incredibly poignant and funny take on what happens after bad turns to worse.’

Dolly Alderton

‘A raw, funny, surprisingly tender novel about belonging, class, and what makes a life a success. I loved the central brother/sister relationship and how the book confronted masculinity and the disparity between womanhood and the male experience. I grew so fond of the protagonist, and devoured the book in a day.’

Nicole Flattery

Theft is a witty, tender and insightful portrait of a city, and a life, at at time of crisis. It’s engrossing and charming and made me laugh many, many times.’

Luke Kennard

‘It’s rare to read something as cuttingly funny which is also this wise and humane, even while the plot moves like the twist of a knife. What do we choose? What’s already been chosen for us? In creating a protagonist and a scene so specific and forensically well-observed, Brown delivers a state of the nation / state of masculinity novel with the ebullience and momentum of a writer discovering his true and specific powers.’

Catherine O'Flynn

‘I love Luke Brown’s intimate detailing of both the tiny fault lines, and vast chasms that divide us. This Britain is both utterly recognisable and freshly revealed and the writing assured, funny and always humane.’

Praise for My Biggest Lie

‘A real page-tuner. Deeply sensual.’ Gary Shteyngart


‘I grabbed this for its mad adventure but came away with a gift for the heart.’ DBC Pierre


‘Brown's novel captures the sun-soaked sexiness of the city . . .  and the hazy drug that is desire better than anything I have read in years.’  The Guardian


‘Rewarding and ambitious.’ Times Literary Supplement


‘An unashamedly literary novel that nonetheless wears its learning lightly and is totally unpretentious: a ludic, drunk, dizzying jaunt.’ Dazed & Confused


‘A scintillating, intelligent and uproariously funny trip into the excesses of storytelling’ Big Issue


‘Smart, zingy and extremely funny, this is a real treat.’ Paul Murray


‘It’s warmth and tenderness are hard to resist.’ Catherine O’Flynn