Open Throat

Henry Hoke

27 July 2023
176 pages


Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction

'An instant classic' - THE GUARDIAN

'A bloody masterpiece.' - MELISSA BRODER, author of THE PISCES

'Witty, emotional and gripping, Open Throat is a short but savage thrill ride' - THE INDEPENDENT

'Open Throat is Bret Easton Ellis meets mountain lion in the Hollywood Hills . . . it already has people talking' - THE SUNDAY TIMES

I’ve never eaten a person but today I might . . .

A queer and dangerously hungry mountain lion lives in the drought-devastated land under the Hollywood sign. Fascinated by the voices around them, the lion spends their days protecting a nearby homeless encampment, observing hikers complain about their trauma and, in quiet moments, grappling with the complexities of their own identity.

When a man-made fire engulfs the encampment, the lion is forced from the hills down into the city the hikers call 'ellay'. As they confront a carousel of temptations and threats, the lion takes us on a tour that spans the cruel inequalities of Los Angeles. But even when salvation finally seems within reach, they are forced to face down the ultimate question: do they want to eat a person, or become one?

'Open Throat is what fiction should be.' - THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

'A blinding spotlight beam of a book that I was completely unable and unwilling to put down.' - Catherine Lacey, author of Pew

Named a Most Anticipated Book by The New York Times, ELLE, Vanity Fair, Buzzfeed, i-D, Boston Globe, Nylon, Alta, Shondaland, Chicago Review of Books, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Literary Hub.

Open Throat is a blinding spotlight beam of a book that I was completely unable and unwilling to put down. I am not convinced Henry Hoke isn’t a mountain lion.
An instant classic . . . The writing is so sinuous, so wry and muscular, yet with a padding, pawing playfulness, that you’re ready to go anywhere Hoke wants to take you . . . It’s funny, it’s heartbreaking and nail-bitingly propulsive, with an exquisite Hitchcockian climax.

The lion king of Los Angeles . . . Hoke’s choice of narrator results in some fang-sharp incisiveness and
flashes of brilliant humour