Kismet by Luke Tredget – extract

Luke Tredget is the author of Kismet, published by Faber on 17 May 2018.

Faber have kindly allowed me to share an extract of Kismet with you.


Anna is at her desk, holding her phone at a tilted angle so that Ingrid, five feet to her left, can’t see the map on her screen. The circle contains her floor of the office – an expanse of almost a hundred people – a central portion of Great Marlborough Street, a slice of Oxford Street and, in fact, since the circle is actually a sphere, hundreds of co-workers on the three floors above and two below. In all this, there are no blue dots.

It is disappointing. When she last used Kismet, almost four years ago, she seemed to make at least one match every time she logged on, more often two, sometimes three. There was even one dizzying occasion, on the dance floor of a club in Hackney, when she checked her phone and the cluster of blue dots resembled a cartoon bunch of grapes. She would like to think that since then her personality has become more refined and mature, or that there are simply fewer single people, but she is nagged by a more sinister explanation: perhaps the in-formation Kismet is compiling and sifting – the websites she visits, the playlists she creates, the items she buys, the pictures she likes, the people she befriends; in short, everything – is generating a scrambled signal, one ridden with contradictions, that will match her with deviants and fringe dwellers, reclusive creeps and sleazy older men.

About the book

Anna is in love.
Or maybe not.
She’s a free spirit: definitely happy.
Or is it more panicked?
In any case, she is living life to the full. Or maybe to the edge.
And having a glass of wine.

With a big birthday just around the corner, an important new project at work, and a boyfriend she suspects might be about to ask her a significant question, Anna should feel like she has it all together. But somehow, she just doesn’t seem to be sure about, well, anything. So she gets out her phone and decides to download Kismet.Will she embrace the life she has, or risk everything for the life she imagines?

With the warmth of David Nicholls and the off-kilter charisma of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, Kismet is a love story about imperfect people in a world obsessed with perfect matches.

About the author

Luke Tredget works in international development for the Red Cross. His journalism has been published in the Guardian and he completed the Birkbeck Creative Writing MA in 2015. He lives in London.


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