The Tenderloin

John Butler

Book cover

UK Publisher


Date Published

January 1st, 2023

It’s 1995 and Evan has embarked on an adventure that will change his life – leaving home in Dublin for the rolling hills and fog-swept bays of San Francisco.

Between the Internet revolution and the rave culture of this liberal city, young naive Evan is completely clueless about how to succeed. But he’s determined to stumble on, looking for work, looking for love, and – ultimately – looking to define himself. Soon, though, the troubles of his past catch up with him, and everything begins to unravel.


‘The Tenderloin bleeds its raw honesty onto every page – it is a truly felt and moving book – but also it’s terrifically paced and extremely sharp-witted. The author has a talent that’s fresh, zingy, and original.’

- Kevin Barry, author of Night Boat to Tangier

‘A large-hearted innocents-abroad romp’

- Guardian

Debut coming-of-age novels are nothing new, but ones that freshen the genre are. John Butler’s The Tenderloin, about three young Dublin twenty-somethings who head to San Francisco during the dotcom explosion of 1995, updates a familiar story without sacrificing those things we’ve come to expect – sexual exploration and identity, loneliness, the ambiguities of adulthood.’

- Independent

'I was captivated . . . This book is sharp, intelligent and funny'

- Sarah Winman, author of Still Life

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