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on September 30, 2013
I read this book because The Times said it was his best work to date (in a review of his latest book), so I thought I'd give Coe a try.
It's a very unusual book...funny in parts, very satirical throughout, tilting at the values of 1980s/1990s UK right-wing values.
Story-wise, it's a series of short stores about each member of an extended well-to-do family that's involved in shady dealings in every industry from food to politics to arms dealing.
Coe is overly focused on coincidences and having all of the characters come together in a meaningful way so that so many events are bent and twisted too far to allow these coincidences to happen. I found myself engrossed in a storyline only to groan when a character from a previous chapter made an unlikely appearance.
The title of the book is also brought in repeatedly in such a heavy-handed way that it appears the author was "forcing" it to fit into various scenes. The title is a movie as well as parts of conversations and the grand finale of the book.
The writing style is very good and engaging. But, unless you're looking for a good satire, there are funnier books to read.
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on September 13, 2017
This novel alternates between being impressive and irritating, Do publishers have editors these days? This book could have been made much better by cutting out the page long digs at long dead British Conservative governments, and throwing out most of the improbable coincidences. The writing is generally very good.
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on February 9, 2012
This novel is just brilliant & VERY, VERY funny.

I found about it on the blog written by the BBCs' Adam Curtis.....surely one of the most interesting documentary makers & bloggers in the world at the moment.
[...]
You can see where he got some of the broader ideas for his documentary series "All watched over by machines of loving grace".

Is is a fictional history of a family of hypocritical greedy & nasty ideologues - the sort of people who did Thatchers bidding for her & who preach the virtues of "self-sufficency & working hard" - well not for themselves of course?!
The sort of traits we see from our current greedy, lazy & bloated ruling classes of narcisists. (OR is that the 1% these days?)

A novel that should be read by all.
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on October 13, 2017
A hard to find and very excellent satire!
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on January 10, 2016
This is an excellent work of contemporary British "fiction". The pace and tone of the story gather momentum as the tale unfolds, and there are moments of pure comedic genius. Highly recommended.
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on November 5, 2013
I've been living in England for a year now and reading this novel was the funnyest and quickest way to understanding the social, political and psychological background of this countries' inhabitants.
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on August 23, 2014
This was a valiant attempt at being a cleverly written book but it did not quite come off. The writing is fine but the story failed to meet the heights expected.
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on February 22, 2013
As good an analysis of the Thatcher years as "Rumours of a Hurricane", and funnier. Essential reading for people who experienced it, and for those who didn't.
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on May 11, 2015
Not sure what the author was trying to say. Ending sure didn't make a lot of sense. But that's just me.
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on December 14, 2016
Book delivered in Good condition. Did not enjoy the story,
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