'THE BOOK EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT' THE TIMES
'It was tempting to think, at times like this, that some bizarre hysteria had gripped the British people'
Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change.
There are newlyweds Ian and Sophie, who disagree about the future of the country and, possibly, the future of their relationship; Doug, the political commentator who writes impassioned columns about austerity from his Chelsea townhouse, and his radical teenage daughter who will stop at nothing in her quest for social justice; Benjamin Trotter, who embarks on an apparently doomed new career in middle age, and his father Colin, whose last wish is to vote in the European referendum. And within all these lives is the story of modern England: a story of nostalgia and delusion; of bewilderment and barely-suppressed rage.
Following in the footsteps of The Rotters' Club and The Closed Circle, Jonathan Coe's new novel is the novel for our strange new times.
Jonathan Coe is the author of twelve novels, all published by Penguin, which include the highly acclaimed bestsellers What a Carve Up!, The House of Sleep,The Rotters' Club and Number 11. He is also the author of a biography of B.S Johnson, Like a Fiery Elephant, and The Broken Mirror, a children's book.
This book is sublimely good. State of the (Brexit) nation novel to end them all, but also funny, tender, generous, so human and intelligent about age and love as well as politics -- India Knight Coe can make you smile, sigh, laugh; he has abundant sympathy for his characters * Scotsman * From post-industrial Birmingham to the London riots and the current political gridlock, it takes in family, literature and love in a comedy for our times * Guardian * An astute, enlightened and enlightening journey into the heart of our current national identity crisis. Both moving and funny. As we'd expect from Coe -- Ben Elton Let me add to the chorus of praise for Jonathan Coe's new book Middle England. Easily my favourite of his since What a Carve Up! Which did for Thatcherism what Middle England does for Brexit -- John Crace Jonathan Coe's Middle England is brilliantly insightful on the times we are living in -- Mishal Husain, Books of the Year * Big Issue * This book is sublimely good. State of the (Brexit) nation novel to end them all, but also funny, tender, generous, so human and intelligent about age and love as well as politics -- India Knight The first great Brexit novel -- Sathnam Sanghera Coe's comic critique of a divided country dazzles . . . properly laugh-out-loud funny . . . it is also incisive and brilliant about our divided country and the deep chasms revealed by the vote to leave. Do not miss * The Bookseller * A copper bottomed masterpiece -- Barney Norris The great chronicler of Englishness * Independent * The beauty of Jonathan Coe's new novel, Middle England, is the way it tracks the seemingly unconnected moments that brought Britain to its knees - and with devastating delicacy, too -- Eva Wiseman * Observer * Coe is an extraordinarily deft plotter . . . he tackles big ambitious themes, in this case the effect of politics on people's lives, and political opinions on personal relations * Mail on Sunday * Middle England is a full-blooded state of the nation novel, and it brings us bang up-to-date * Sunday Times * Brilliant -- Nicola Sturgeon Very funny . . . Exceptionally good . . . Delightful -- BBC Radio 4 * Saturday Review * Sparkled with all the acuity of his best novels . . . Uproarious and always on-the-money -- Books of the Year * Evening Standard * Middle England takes all that is memorable and moving about Coe's body of work and throws it at the present emergency -- Alex Clark * TLS * Middle England combines top-class soap opera storytelling with melancholy insight into what it means to be English * Metro * Coe is as funny and tender as ever, restoring some humanity to the tumultuous societal backdrop * Grazia * This is a picture of England that comes from a place of compassion and understanding * inews * Millions of words have been and will be written on Brexit but few will get to the heart of why it is happening as incisively as Middle England -- John Boyne * Irish Times * Tackling his characters' opposing points of view, he draws a portrait of a recognisable Britain baffled by its loss of industry and jobs, and of everyday people shocked by a rise of acceptable racism and xenophobia. It's also very, very funny * Stylist * In Middle England, Coe shows an understanding of this country that goes beyond what most cabinet ministers can muster . . . he subtly builds a picture that exposes the cracks in society . . . he is a master of satire but pokes fun subtly, without ever being cruel, biting or blatant . . . his light, funny writing makes you feel better * Evening Standard * His affectionately witty attitude to our human foibles is always uplifting . . . Superb * The Times * A pertinent, entertaining study of a nation in crisis -- 'Books of the Year' * Financial Times * Expansive and often very funny . . . Coe - a writer of uncommon decency - reminds us that the way out of this mess is through moderation, through compromise, through that age-old English ability to laugh at ourselves * Observer * Brilliantly funny . . . a compelling state of the nation novel, full of light and shade, which vividly charts modern Britain's tragicomic slide * Economist *
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