Top critical review
One person found this helpful
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.