Tuesday, 19 October 2010

'A Week in December' by Sebastian Faulks

Blurb: 'London 2007. Over seven days, we follow the lives of seven characters: a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career; a professional footballer recently arrived from Poland; a young lawyer with little work and too much time to speculate; a student who has been led astray by Islamist theory; a hack book-reviewer; a schoolboy hooked on skunk and reality TV; and, a Tube train driver whose Circle Line train joins these and countless other lives together in a daily loop. The novel pieces together the complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life. Greed, the dehumanising effects of the electronic age and the fragmentation of society are some of the themes dealt with in this savagely humorous book. ..'

Must say I loved this sophisticated satirical Dickensian novel. Other reviews were mixed. Here's The Telegraph. I only hope the nation isn't quite as amoral as depicted. If you don't understand hedge funds, futures, the recent banking crisis and matters of that ilk you might have more of a clue after reading this book. John Veals, the financier, is a vile automaton and the lit critic convincingly horrible. The author also has a go at the book(er) prize world, modern art and even modern canap├ęs - all of which made me smile in recognition. Not sure the footballer really worked out as a character and I didn't entirely believe in the tube driver, also the other women (minor characters) were embarrassingly silly.  Slight anti-climax at the end. All the same, you should definitely read this sparkling book.

4 comments:

Nicola said...

Enjoyed reading your review. I think I'll recommend this to my book group. Never read Faulks.

Jenny Beattie said...

I enjoyed Engleby and Human Traces but I must read his others... Thanks for the review Susie.

LindyLouMac said...

What a great review Susie, my husband and I both enjoy Sebastian Faulks, so I am glad this is already on our wishlist.

Faye said...

Odd, Susie. I was just recently looking at a couple of Faulks' novels on my shelf and wondering if should re-read. Also, had been hearing rumors of Birdsong--all out favorite--being made into a film. That would be wonderful. I'll check out this title.