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A Week in December Hardcover – March 9, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
John Veals already has more money than he and 20 clones could spend, but amassing more fortune isn't what drives him. It's beating the system. And since he's been so good at it, the stakes keep getting higher. He gets more sanguine about what his amoral plotting may do to innocent people and the world economy (his deputy feels the same way). Meantime, his teenage son displays his heritage only by becoming more jaded about how much pot he smokes and how much time he spends watching a reality show featuring genuinely mentally ill people. The boy's only other pastime is spent in on online world.
This same online world is fascinating to an Underground train driver. Jenni appears to enjoy her job where it is calm and quiet and she's in control, much as she is in control of her online persona. Not even a sponging brother or a jumper phase her. One of her passengers is a young Muslim man who gradually becomes more disenchanted with the West, even as his father gets ready to be presented to the queen after being named on the latest Honours List. To prepare, he hires a tutor to educate him about literature. He finds the drippiest old toad of a reviewer who clings to the farthest edge of the British literary world.
And so on.
Unlike, say a Kate Atkinson novel where the various storylines connect, these characters barely bump up against each other.Read more ›
Two potentially disaster-creating characters--hedge fund owner John Veals and would-be terrorist Hassan al-Rashid--take center stage, and while their stories are indeed fascinating, they push the others' (some of which I found much more interesting) into the background. If the novel has one fault, it may be that there are a few too many threads in the plot, and, as a result, some characters get shorted. I wanted to know more about Jenni Fortune, the book-loving tube conductor who is addicted to an online role-playing game, and her blooming romance with barrister Gabriel Northwood; I wanted to learn more about Gabriel's schizophrenic brother Adam; about the senior al-Rashids; about Spike, the Polish soccer player, and his girlfriend, Olya, who poses for online porn.
The novel also runs the reader through the full emotional gamut. Perhaps the most satisfying moments for me were those that reflect on books, reading, academia, and the world of competitive literary prizes. Faulks is at his satirical best here. As an educator, I was particularly amused by a small incident, the book reviewer R. Tantor being hired (undercover, of course) by a school to write comments on students' papers, a way of appeasing the parents who complained that the teachers themselves couldn't even spell.Read more ›
The whole book, for me, was about finding meaning in the emptiness of modern life. All the characters are either looking for meaning in a way, reacting to perceived meaninglessness, or reveling in the meaningless of it all. Reality TV, blogging, social networking sites like MySpace and Second Life, the ridiculously rich, and especially financial traders all take a hit in this book, or at least a swipe. The stock market and those who work in and around it come off the worst, and rightly so if there is any accuracy to Faulk's portrayal of hedge fund managers, banks, etc. From listening to NPR and reading Matt Taibbi's articles in Rolling Stone, I fear Faulks is right on about this stuff.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Regrettably it's some five years after purchasing it but I found A Week In December a lovely glimpse into a world sufficiently rooted in... Read morePublished 6 months ago by John
When an author introduces you to half a dozen characters, then profiles another dozen who have been invited to a dinner party, the reader may well go into shellshock. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Joe Da Rold
Memory test: 1-2-3-4....characters coming at you left and right... heading to tying them all together, predictably, finishing with a hollow, bloated,
quasi- satisfied... Read more
The story rather peters out at the end without any decisive conclusions. Also there is the repeated appearance of a cyclist riding without lights who nearly collides with a number... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Out The Box
I guess that I could honestly call this novel forgettable. In the scene where the pickle merchant is expecting to receive an honor from the Queen, Prince Charles substitutes. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ken C.
Normally I find myself wondering what all the hype is about over some moderate, overrated novel but in this case I am surprised by the calumny heaped upon what I consider to be... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Trevor Coote
This novel is more like a textbook on urban life during the beginning of the new millennium than an ordinary novel. On p. 121, you learn some tricks for solving crosswords, on p. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Knut L. Seip
Oh dear. As many of the reviewers, I chose this novel on the back of Birdsong. Bearing in mind I was actually weeping while reading the bits in Birdsong where Stephen was stuck in... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Martha Selwood
Excellent parody of the twenty first century which rings true and parallels the modern disasters we face, from uncaring greed with no purpose in the real economy to Islamic... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Brian J. Hipp