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A Memoir in Pastiche


Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Niche Download image

ISBN10: 0374144087
ISBN13: 9780374144081


336 Pages



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Momus—named for the ancient Greek god of mockery, and described by The Guardian as “the David Bowie of the art-pop underground”—has recorded over thirty albums for labels like 4AD and Creation, published half a dozen works of speculative fiction, and written articles for The New York Times, Wired, ArtForum, Frieze, and The Wire. An unknown band called Pulp once asked him to produce their next album. (He said no.) An unknown band called Of Montreal once invited him to go on tour with them. (He said no.) He’s collaborated with fans Vampire Weekend and with the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merrit. He’s had an impression of his penis preserved by the notorious Cynthia Plaster Caster. Maybe you’ve heard of him. Probably you haven’t. This is his story. Or, rather, stories.

Rather than one avuncular tell-all relayed in his own voice, Momus has structured the narrative of his life as a typically atypical mockery of the rock-bio oral history. Instead of using living witnesses, Momus assumes the voices of 217 dead authors and artists and forces them to speak for and about him. From these dramatic monologues—sometimes unreliable, often comical—there gradually emerges a picture of one eccentric star’s life across three continents and in his own, remarkable, niche.


Praise for Niche

"Named after the Greek god of mockery, Momus became the poster boy of a particularly knowing, particularly literary kind of post-punk-post-pop that was as indebted to Roland Barthes as much as it was Jaques Brel."—Josh Baines, Vice

"Momus is the David Bowie of the art-pop underground."—Julian Gough, The Guardian

“Here then we have, at long last, the story of Momus, i.e. the Phylogeny of Nick Currie, as chronicled through the eyes of the Greats, a curious artifact securing its rightful place within the Canon—as if Orson Welles had directed Spinal Tap . . . in other words, essential Momus.”—Ariel Pink, musician

"Niche is the first book I have seen in five years which begins to merit the accolade of masterpiece."—Christian Kracht, author of The Dead and Imperium

“Momus’s Niche is just an extraordinary thing, wicked, hilarious, sinuously deep, thought through like a circuit, with prose that made mine attack me out of envy. The most exciting life story I’ve read in possibly forever.”—Dennis Cooper, author of The Marbled Swarm

"Diarist, novelist, satirist, lyricist beyond peer. Herein is spun the tale of the immortally fabulous life and glittering times of our dodgy Anthropocene’s greatest still-living songwriter, as related by a chorus of eerie, mocking, sometimes supportive, often judgmental post-mortem Raudive voices in a séance spanning centuries of ectoplasmic ‘I told you so.’ Here is why Momus may one day be canonized the first saint of a religion yet to be dreamed . . . Read, be enlightened, and pretend you always knew."—Grant Morrison, comic book writer and superfan

"[A] grand entertainment, effortlessly blending pop culture and high culture."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This is that rare show-biz memoir that’s both entertaining and a literary triumph."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt

part one


I am deeply conscious of the presence of the great company of the dead, and I am convinced that could they make their voices heard they would be with me in what I am about to say.