Thursday, June 20, 2002

I've been reading "The Rotters Club" by Jonathan Coe, who is a damn fine writer. It has had many fine reviews but the less than complimentary Observer review has it about right I think. The chief interest for me is that it set in a time and place I know very well. Apart from the posh school it could be my time, and his eye for the detail of that time has kept me going, it's really quite extraordinary. Many reviews have alluded to it's broad comedy. Although there are many laugh out loud moments, I don't really see it as comedy, too much tragedy and bathos is contained within it. Perhaps I remember the historical events that are threaded through the narrative too vividly. Nevertheless I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone in their late 30's upwards, particularly if they had an embarrassing liking for prog rock. If you have any knowledge at all of Birmingham, it's a must read.

"What a Carve Up" might be a better introduction,
generally.

Interview with Coe

First chapter of Rotters Club available at New York Times. Registration required and recommended.
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