We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.


On sale

31st August 2023

Price: £24.99

Select a format

Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781472299574

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

An off-the-wall, satirical debut about a night-shift cleaner in a corporate office block, for fans of CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN, THE NEW ME and MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION.

‘I clean the offices and bathrooms and lobby five nights a week, but my actual job is to take care of everyone. They need so much help.’

At night, in a corporate office block in an unnamed metropolitan city, a cleaner begins her shift.

As she cleans Sad Intern’s desk, she throws away some of her more alarming health supplements, and leaves her healthy snacks instead. Mr Buff’s desk is immaculate, but he seems to have a secret smoking habit – not conducive to his fitness journey – which she’s going to help him kick. She confiscates the knitted coaster that sexy, sensitive Yarn Guy has given to Soda Woman – someone who clips her nails in the office doesn’t deserve his gifts.

She’s the office guardian angel – and no one even knows it.

But tonight, while scrolling through your emails, she’ll discover the secret you’ve been hiding – the one that will threaten her job, and the jobs of everyone she takes care of. And you’re about to find out that, sometimes, your most powerful enemy is the one you don’t even see.

(P) 2023 Headline Publishing Group Ltd


A sharp and toothy portrait of a life devoted to the convenience of others . . . Cleaner skilfully satirizes the work-place novel, offering cutting insights on the hypocrisy and empty ambitions of grind culture.
Matt Bell, author of APPLESEED
Brandi Wells's Cleaner is a fantastic office novel, a keen evocation of our deep desire for dignity in the workplace and for recognition of a job well done. It's also a smart thriller about what the essential workers you choose not to see might right now be thinking about you-and a sharp reminder that you ignore the people upon whom your good life depends at your own peril.
Aimee Bender, author of THE BUTTERFLY LAMPSHADE
What a total delight it is to roam this (almost) empty building with Brandi Wells' cleaner who is always peering (and neatening) the surfaces of people's lives and finding so much depth in there to mess with - Here's a new and key addition to office fiction and a thrilling debut novel by a propulsive voice.
Sarah Rose Etter, author of RIPE
The most richly crafted delusion of a novel since Ottessa Moshfegh's Eileen. I couldn't put it down - an exquisite novel!
Annie Hartnett, author of RABBIT CAKE and UNLIKELY ANIMALS
Brandi Wells has created a biting, witty, pitch-perfect novel about one woman's desire to connect with her office co-workers - the only problem is, she cleans the office during the night and they work during the day. Cleaner is funny, slyly moving, and totally weirdly wonderful, and Brandi Wells is a gloriously bold writer. I adored it.
Patrick Cottrell, author of SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE
Suspenseful, obsessive, and scalpel-sharp, Cleaner is an ultra-vivid and profound parable of contemporary work life imbued with the soft blue glow of a middle manager's computer screen at night. In other words, Wells brilliantly documents all the ways we make each other feel small and unseen at the workplace (and the tactics we may use to dismantle these hierarchies) in this electrifying, singular debut.
Julia Fine, author of MADDALENA AND THE DARK
Welcome to the office building at night, an eerie and yet totally mundane ship helmed by one woman desperate for connection and valiantly, perhaps delusionally, striving for meaning in her work. Brandi Wells' Cleaner is laugh out loud funny, but its project of validating unseen labor is totally serious. This is a book that celebrates humanity, even while tearing down the corporate culture that denies it in the drollest and wittiest of ways.
Brian Evenson, author of LAST DAYS
There are people who pass unnoticed, but who nevertheless quietly shape the worlds that others occupy. Cleaner is about one such person, about someone who, secretly, without being detected, subtly tugs on the strings that remain unseen to so many others, changing lives that even after the fact often don't know who or what has changed them. Cleaner is a clever portrait that scrapes away the slick veneer of the everyday to reveal the rough grain of the wood beneath.
Razor-sharp ... biting and compulsive.
RED Magazine
A darkly funny tale.
Sequoia Nagamatsu, author of HOW HIGH WE DO IN THE DARK
Is it just office trash or the ephemera of a life? Bursting from the cleaning closet of meditative workplace novels like Nicholson Baker's Mezzanine, Wells masterfully invites the reader into the beating heart of a workplace, uncovering secrets, fantasies, and sorrows with every cleaned cubicle and vacuumed hallway. An unflinchingly honest and often fanciful mediation on people through the lens of an invisible worker who clocks in after five.
The iPaper
[A] compulsively readable workplace satire.
Asia Mackay, author of KILLING IT
A sharply observed offbeat gem of a novel. A book that has you questioning what the mess you leave behind says about you . . .
Heat Magazine
A darkly funny, off-beat read.
Daily Mail
'Unsettling, with a smart, satisfying ending.'
Holly Seddon, author of THE SHORT STRAW
I absolutely loved this offbeat, bold and witty novel that skewers corporate culture and shines a light on the overlooked and under-appreciated hands that keep the world turning.
Financial Times
You'll never leave your desk drawer unlocked overnight again.