First published by Simon & Schuster UK in 1995.
Shortlisted for four awards including the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize.
During a year of urban chaos and bombing campaigns, three women struggle to work in the same office in Central London. Their work is dull and their boss corrupt, but that is about to become the least of their problems…a tale of office intrigue, betrayal and revenge which the Observer newspaper described as ‘like Dickens with a one-day Travelcard.’
‘A first novel bubbling with talent…one knows at once that here is a writer with constantly alert powers of observation and a happy gift for a phrase. The little dramas are handled with a mixture of poignancy and humour… All in all, here is a debut of outstanding promise.’
‘Doughty has created touchingly sympathetic characters. Her women are sufferers and, in the end, survivors. Alan Ayckbourn says that tragedy is comedy interrupted, where comedy is tragedy interrupted. This is where Crazy Paving succeeds. For the humour entertains so swingingly throughout that only in the final chapter are you made aware of any serious issue at stake here. Together, these elements create an amusingly thoughtful first novel.’
‘I read with a mixture of awe and fascination Louise Doughty’s brilliant first novel…If it does not get her onto the list of the Booker Prize or some other prestigious award this year I shall cease to harbour what residual faith I still have in a higher justice.’
‘Few first novels are as confident and accomplished as Louise Doughty’s darkly funny debut…often touching, always incisive, and moves along at a spanking pace.’
‘Attention to comic detail reminiscent of Margaret Atwood…brave, haunting and hilarious.’