In Real Life

Chris Killen

In Real Life by Chris Killen (Paperback ISBN 9781847672629) book cover

Available as Paperback

A hilarious, heart-breaking and decade-spanning portrait of a generation, from the author of The Bird Room


For a while, Ian, Lauren and Paul shared the same friends, the same university, the same dreams and the same potential. Ten years on they are worlds apart. Call centres, charity shops and bedrooms that smell like cabbage were never part of the plan. The real world doesn’t look quite like any of them imagined. But when Lauren, in a moment of nostalgia, cracks open a long-forgotten Hotmail account, she comes face to face with the people these three friends used to be …

For two of them it will mean a new beginning to an old love story.

Hilarious and heart-breaking, In Real Life paints a searingly honest portrait of a generation and captures a world where human connection is easier than ever before but where relationships remain just as tricky.

“Very funny and wonderfully charming. Chris Killen writes with an understated beauty about things like Tesco Meal Deals and the internet and hospitals and Babybels and the distance between people. In Real Life is a book about love and failed dreams that is full of truth and tenderness”
Matt Haig, Author Of The Humans

See more reviews

“Perfectly captur[es] the simultaneous sweetness and acute embarrassment of those old versions of ourselves that linger at the base of our inboxes”
Rosa Rankingee

“Brilliantly insightful, funny, sad, brave and true - this book will make you laugh even in the face of your own (offline) mortality. Better yet, it will make you want to leave Facebook. Again”
Emma Jane Unsworth, Author Of Animals

”Horribly funny … This curate’s egg of a novel has some brilliantly bleak touches”
daily Mail

In Real Life is brilliantly observed, deftly written, wonderful, sad, funny and totally real”
Josie Long

Chris Killen

Chris Killen was born in 1981. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester and his debut novel, The Bird Room was published by Canongate in 2009. Wizard’s Way, a film he co-wrote, produced and starred in won the Best Comedy Feature award at London Independent Film Festival, and the Discovery Award at LOCO. Remake rights have been acquired by Jack Black. He currently lives in Manchester.