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A Week in December
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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 14 October 2010.
This is Sebastian Faulks' first novel set in present day Britain. Here he explores our lives from the polar extremes of a rich but morally bankrupt hedge fund manager to fundamentalist Islamic students - and most of us in between. With customary literary insight, Faulks reveals a world that is diverging rather than converging. A society but certainly not a community.
A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks
It was London, the week before Christmas, 2007. Over seven days we follow the lives of seven major characters: a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career; a professional footballer recently arrived from Poland; a young lawyer with little work and too much time to speculate; a student who has been led astray by Islamist theory; a hack book-reviewer; a schoolboy hooked on skunk and reality TV; and, a Tube train driver whose Circle Line train joins these and countless other lives together in a daily loop. With daring skill, the novel pieces together the complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life. Greed, the dehumanising effects of the electronic age and the fragmentation of society are some of the themes dealt with in this savagely humorous book. The writing on the wall appears in letters ten feet high, but the characters refuse to see it - and party on as though tomorrow is a dream. Sebastian Faulks probes not only the self-deceptions of this intensely realised group of people, but their hopes and loves as well. As the novel moves to its gripping climax, they are forced, one by one, to confront the true nature of the world they inhabit.
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ReviewsRichly entertaining and highly rewarding Evening Standard During times of momentous change, men of letters are driven to produce works that fictionalise the state of the nation, linking individuals with historic events. The 19th century gave us Thackeray's Vanity Fair, Dickens's Our Mutual Friend and Trollope's The Way We Live Now; the 21st has given us Sebastian Faulks's A Week in December Sunday Times Often edgily satirical, sometimes deeply affecting, A Week in December grasps its headline motifs with the strong and supple hands of a master Independent Hilarious... The satire is so vicious that at times it's like reading a Tom Sharpe novel Daily Telegraph This vast novel, well-plotted and gripping throughout, is the first that Sebastian Faulks has set in our time...the ambition and scope of the book are to be applauded. The conclusion is suitably nail-biting and, pleasingly, love triumphs. Sebastian Faulks has probably got another best-seller on his hands Spectator
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Publication date2nd September 2010
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PublisherVintage an imprint of CCV