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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 38 reviews
on November 11, 2002
I came to this book because of its ties to Progressive Rock (see Steven Sullivan's review below), but I stayed with it because it is an engaging, witty, humane and laugh-out-loud funny tale of four B'ham boys growing up. I am approximately the same age as these protagonists so I share much of the their historical milieu, even if none of the geographic. It's an accurate portrayal, and a corker of a tale to boot.
Now, if I could just find a copy of the progressive rock masterpiece "Apotheosis of the Necromancer" by Gandalf's Pikestaff...
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VINE VOICEon December 20, 2007
Insanely great novel by Jonathan Coe. At turns harrowing, funny, poignant, but always exceptionally readable. As someone who grew up and went to school in England during the '80s, I found so much in Coe's portrayal of a posh Birmingham grammar school that rung true. Different decade indeed, different kind of establishment compared to my no-nonsense secondary school, but the parallels were there, from children's cruelty, unrequited loves and lusts, growing up and discovering girls, and most importantly, trying to find a place for yourself in the world. The Rotter's Club is a great rollercoaster ride of emotions, full of moving moments and great humor. Coe's prose is fresh and precise as usual, but what makes his work stand out is his incredible ability to capture insightful moments so perfectly, something which many novelists struggle to do over hundreds of pages, but which Coe sometimes manages in a few mere sentences. Be sure to check out the follow-up 'The Closed Circle' too.
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on November 22, 2016
What a great book. It really captures the coming of age thought process as good as any I have ever read. It brings back so many memories - and this from a 50 year old Texan. Brilliant, Brilliant writing. Sorry to see it end.
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on May 11, 2006
At the cover, it's quoted an apreciative NYT review describing Coe as "an Evelyn Waugh of the Left". Allow me to disagree, as this novel is far too much choke full of throughly postmodern traits (jagged structure, non-conclusive ending, various characters barely sketched, Pop/Erudite Culture mix, use of diaries, letters, etc.) for Waugh to be classed as its closest relative. Rather I found here a relationship with Philip Roth, mostly with the American writer's later novels - only, firstly, that Coe's politics are far more to my taste; secondly, that Coe is _far better_ than his older cross-Atlantic contemporary in that he has the ability of depicting a whole society as a totality (in the case, the British 1970s) without once marring his writing with the need to moralize that marred some of Roth's best depections of the American 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, such as "American Pastoral" & "I married a communist" ("the Human Stain" being the fortunate excepction).
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on February 5, 2016
This is writing at its best: entertaining, thoughtful, engrossing and at times very funny.
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on July 18, 2016
Loved this book so much
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on February 21, 2016
loving the book very much
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on January 2, 2013
I did like this book, very different to what I thought it was going to be. Gets you really involved. Will get the follow-up at some stage.
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