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The Rotters' Club (Vintage Contemporaries)

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The Rotters' Club (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375713125
ISBN10: 0375713123
Condition: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"If Coe is right to claim that the 1970s were 'brown times,' then it is a testament to his skill that he has rendered them in such vivid colors." Stephen Amidon, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Birmingham, England, c. 1973: industrial strikes, bad pop music, corrosive class warfare, adolescent angst, IRA bombings. Four friends: a class clown who stoops very low for a laugh; a confused artist enthralled by guitar rock; an earnest radical with socialist leanings; and a quiet dreamer obsessed with poetry, God, and the prettiest girl in school. As the world appears to self-destruct around them, they hold together to navigate the choppy waters of a decidedly ambiguous decade.

Review:

"The first of two books (the sequel, The Closed Circle, has just been published) traces the adolescence of a small group in Birmingham, England, amid IRA bombings and Tory-Labour disputes, the boys' own first forays into sex and their parents' extramarital affairs, their private school intrigues, and the constant scandals of the school paper. Funny, panoramic, with every character, however brief, beautifully drawn." Tin House magazine

Review:

"Reflective and compelling, satirical and tender, wildly imaginative and painstakingly realistic." Chris Lehmann, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Please, God...if there?s a next life, let me write as well as Jonathan Coe. The Rotters' Club offers a thick slice of seventies Birmingham — sharp, acerbic, and menacingly true; a sad, funny, thoroughly engaging look at compromise, complicity, and change in a decade many of us would choose to forget. I want more. Now." Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour

Review:

"A must-read for anyone who cares about contemporary literature." Katie Owen, The Telegraph

Review:

"England in the 1970s comes vividly to life in Coe's wonderfully entertaining novel....Coe's affection for his characters and the genuinely funny set pieces travel across the Atlantic with nothing lost. Think Nick Hornby by way of Julian Barnes." Booklist

Review:

"If there?s a contemporary novelist who combines sharp and sometimes savage social commentary with the classic, full-blooded pleasures novels are supposed to give readers as well as Jonathan Coe does, I must have missed him." Charles Taylor, Salon.com

Review:

"Jonathan Coe is the most exciting young British novelist writing today, and The Rotters' Club is yet another in an unbroken string of entrancing achievements." Bret Easton Ellis

Review:

"I can't think of a writer who is more faithful to his memory, or to his perception of other people's memories, than [Coe]. Even those of us who didn't come of age in 1970s Birmingham, England, will hear echoes of our own youth in [his] latest novel." The Oregonian

Review:

"Its tinder-dry combustion of comic, indignant and elegiac suggests an Evelyn Waugh of the left." Richard Eder, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A thrillingly traitorous work. It hums along for a hundred pages of wise comedy about teenage love's mortifications, then cold cocks us with an honest surprise as cruel as it is earned." David Kipen, San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Jonathan Coe is a mesmerizing writer....The Rotters' Club is a wonderfully gripping novel, by turns funny, heartbreaking and terrifying." The Seattle Times

Review:

"The novel's many intricate parts manage to mesh and turn with the startling harmony you find in Robert Altman's movies." Todd Pruzan, The Village Voice

Review:

"Tasty but filling: a rich (too rich, perhaps) portrait of a time and a place that have received less than their fair share of literary attention." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[W]itty, sprawling and ambitious....Coe is immensely clever, but that cleverness is almost misplaced here: universal as it may be, adolescent angst doesn't really compare to the problems of massive social change." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"With his hyper-lucid prose and eye for the whimsical, the absurd and the quintessentially human, Jonathan Coe is Britain's best contemporary fictional chronicler." Will Self

Review:

"As always with Jonathan Coe, the sheer intelligent good nature that suffuses his work makes it a pleasure to read." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (U.K.)

Synopsis:

Jonathan Coe's latest novel combines comedy and tragedy in a vastly moving and entertaining tale pitting private lives against harsh political realities.

The Rotters' Club is a sprawling coming-of-age tale that chronicles the heartbreaking and hilarious vicissitudes in the lives of four friends: an irrepressible class clown, a confused artist, an earnest radical, and a quiet dreamer obsessed with poetry and music, God, and a girl. Set against the turbulent British seventies — a decade of industrial strikes, IRA bombings and rising nationalist racism — this marvelous tale is rounded out with an unforgettable cast of supporting characters. Jonathan Coe is a proven master of innovation and style, and this latest triumph — witty, wistful, poignant and profound — leaves little doubt as to why he is considered one of the most exciting young writers from across the Atlantic.

Synopsis:

Set against the turbulent British '70s — a decade of industrial strikes, IRA bombings and rising nationalist racism — this marvelous tale combines comedy and tragedy in a sprawling coming-of-age chronicle of four friends. A Book Sense 76 Pick.

Synopsis:

A comic spy caper and international love story, set in Europe in the middle of the last century, Expo 58 is the latest sublime creation by Jonathan Coe, hailed by Nick Hornby as “probably the best English novelist of his generation.”

Handsome, unassuming Thomas Foley is an employee at the Central Office of Information whose particular biography (Belgian mother, pub-owning father) makes him just the man to oversee the “authentic British pub” that will be erected at the 1958 Brussels Worlds Fair. Its the first major expo after World War II, meant to signify unity, but theres inevitable intrigue involving the U.S. and Soviet delegations. In the shadow of an immense, imposingly modern structure called the Atomium, the married Foley becomes both agent and pawn—when hes not falling head over heels for Anneke, his Belgian hostess.

Funny, fast-paced, and genuinely moving, Expo 58 is both a perfect evocation of a moment in history and the welcome return of one of todays finest novelists.

About the Author

Jonathan Coe has received the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, the Prix Médicis Etranger, and, for The Rotters' Club, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for the most original comic writing. He lives in London.

Table of Contents

The Chick and the Hairy Guy 7
The Very Maws of Doom 113
Green Coaster 377

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

mick provencher, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by mick provencher)
Jonathan Coe's coming of age and beyond novel is an excellent introduction to life in Birmingham, England, in the 70s. The characters, a group of teens in school, their families and the social circle that entwine them tell the stories of that time. Politics, school life, industrial urban life and struggles for individuality, creativity and searching for it are some of the topics engagingly faced. It's full of wit and insight and a pure joy to read. You just might find yourself reading the sequel, The Closed Circle. I did.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
georgina lewis, September 2, 2011 (view all comments by georgina lewis)
I just re-read this--the third time in 10 years. It still makes me smile, tear-up, and get utterly absorbed in these kids lives in early 70s Birmingham. And so satisfying to then read the sequel, set 25 or so years later, The Closed Circle. The Rotters' Club is where it begins though. Awesome!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375713125
Author:
Coe, Jonathan
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Teenage boys
Subject:
Male friendship
Subject:
Birmingham
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;1970s;novel;england;coming of age;birmingham;uk;british;contemporary;britain;english;music;british fiction;comedy;literature;contemporary fiction;politics;historical fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st American ed.
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
February 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 0.88 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Rotters' Club (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375713125 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "If Coe is right to claim that the 1970s were 'brown times,' then it is a testament to his skill that he has rendered them in such vivid colors." (read the entire Atlantic review)
"Review" by , "The first of two books (the sequel, The Closed Circle, has just been published) traces the adolescence of a small group in Birmingham, England, amid IRA bombings and Tory-Labour disputes, the boys' own first forays into sex and their parents' extramarital affairs, their private school intrigues, and the constant scandals of the school paper. Funny, panoramic, with every character, however brief, beautifully drawn."
"Review" by , "Reflective and compelling, satirical and tender, wildly imaginative and painstakingly realistic."
"Review" by , "Please, God...if there?s a next life, let me write as well as Jonathan Coe. The Rotters' Club offers a thick slice of seventies Birmingham — sharp, acerbic, and menacingly true; a sad, funny, thoroughly engaging look at compromise, complicity, and change in a decade many of us would choose to forget. I want more. Now."
"Review" by , "A must-read for anyone who cares about contemporary literature."
"Review" by , "England in the 1970s comes vividly to life in Coe's wonderfully entertaining novel....Coe's affection for his characters and the genuinely funny set pieces travel across the Atlantic with nothing lost. Think Nick Hornby by way of Julian Barnes."
"Review" by , "If there?s a contemporary novelist who combines sharp and sometimes savage social commentary with the classic, full-blooded pleasures novels are supposed to give readers as well as Jonathan Coe does, I must have missed him."
"Review" by , "Jonathan Coe is the most exciting young British novelist writing today, and The Rotters' Club is yet another in an unbroken string of entrancing achievements."
"Review" by , "I can't think of a writer who is more faithful to his memory, or to his perception of other people's memories, than [Coe]. Even those of us who didn't come of age in 1970s Birmingham, England, will hear echoes of our own youth in [his] latest novel."
"Review" by , "Its tinder-dry combustion of comic, indignant and elegiac suggests an Evelyn Waugh of the left."
"Review" by , "A thrillingly traitorous work. It hums along for a hundred pages of wise comedy about teenage love's mortifications, then cold cocks us with an honest surprise as cruel as it is earned."
"Review" by , "Jonathan Coe is a mesmerizing writer....The Rotters' Club is a wonderfully gripping novel, by turns funny, heartbreaking and terrifying."
"Review" by , "The novel's many intricate parts manage to mesh and turn with the startling harmony you find in Robert Altman's movies."
"Review" by , "Tasty but filling: a rich (too rich, perhaps) portrait of a time and a place that have received less than their fair share of literary attention."
"Review" by , "[W]itty, sprawling and ambitious....Coe is immensely clever, but that cleverness is almost misplaced here: universal as it may be, adolescent angst doesn't really compare to the problems of massive social change."
"Review" by , "With his hyper-lucid prose and eye for the whimsical, the absurd and the quintessentially human, Jonathan Coe is Britain's best contemporary fictional chronicler."
"Review" by , "As always with Jonathan Coe, the sheer intelligent good nature that suffuses his work makes it a pleasure to read."
"Synopsis" by , Jonathan Coe's latest novel combines comedy and tragedy in a vastly moving and entertaining tale pitting private lives against harsh political realities.

The Rotters' Club is a sprawling coming-of-age tale that chronicles the heartbreaking and hilarious vicissitudes in the lives of four friends: an irrepressible class clown, a confused artist, an earnest radical, and a quiet dreamer obsessed with poetry and music, God, and a girl. Set against the turbulent British seventies — a decade of industrial strikes, IRA bombings and rising nationalist racism — this marvelous tale is rounded out with an unforgettable cast of supporting characters. Jonathan Coe is a proven master of innovation and style, and this latest triumph — witty, wistful, poignant and profound — leaves little doubt as to why he is considered one of the most exciting young writers from across the Atlantic.

"Synopsis" by , Set against the turbulent British '70s — a decade of industrial strikes, IRA bombings and rising nationalist racism — this marvelous tale combines comedy and tragedy in a sprawling coming-of-age chronicle of four friends. A Book Sense 76 Pick.
"Synopsis" by , A comic spy caper and international love story, set in Europe in the middle of the last century, Expo 58 is the latest sublime creation by Jonathan Coe, hailed by Nick Hornby as “probably the best English novelist of his generation.”

Handsome, unassuming Thomas Foley is an employee at the Central Office of Information whose particular biography (Belgian mother, pub-owning father) makes him just the man to oversee the “authentic British pub” that will be erected at the 1958 Brussels Worlds Fair. Its the first major expo after World War II, meant to signify unity, but theres inevitable intrigue involving the U.S. and Soviet delegations. In the shadow of an immense, imposingly modern structure called the Atomium, the married Foley becomes both agent and pawn—when hes not falling head over heels for Anneke, his Belgian hostess.

Funny, fast-paced, and genuinely moving, Expo 58 is both a perfect evocation of a moment in history and the welcome return of one of todays finest novelists.

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