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Jonathan Coe - Author

About the Author

Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham in 1961. Expo 58 is his tenth novel. The previous nine are all available in Penguin: The Accidental Woman, A Touch of Love, The Dwarves of Death, What a Carve Up! (which won the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), The House of Sleep (which won the 1998 Prix Medicis Etranger), The Rotters' Club (winner of the Everyman Wodehouse Prize), The Closed Circle, The Rain Before It Falls and The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim. His biography of the novelist B.S. Johnson, Like a Fiery Elephant, won the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for best non-fiction book of the year.

Featured books by Jonathan Coe

What a Carve Up!

What a Carve Up!

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

The hilarious 1980s political satire by Jonathan Coe, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Newspaper-columnist Hilary gets thousands for telling it like it isn't; Henry's turning hospitals into car parks; Roddy's selling art in return for sex; down on the farm Dorothy's squeezing every last pound from her livestock; Thomas is making a killing on the stock exchange; and Mark is selling arms to dictators.

ebook of the month
Like A Fiery Elephant The Story of B.S.Johnson

Like A Fiery Elephant The Story of B.S.Johnson

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/06/2005

In his heyday, during the 1960s and early 1970s, B. S. Johnson was one of the best-known young novelists in Britain. A passionate advocate for the avant-garde in both literature and film, he became famous - not to say notorious - both for his forthright views on the future of the novel and for his idiosyncratic ways of putting them into practice. But in November 1973 Johnson's lifelong depression got the better of him, and he was found dead at his north London home. He had taken his own life at the age of forty. Jonathan Coe's biography is based upon unique access to the vast collection of papers Johnson left behind after his death, and upon dozens of interviews with those who knew him best. As unconventional in form as one of its subject's own novels, it paints a remarkable picture - sometimes hilarious, often overwhelmingly sad - of a tortured personality; a man whose writing tragically failed to keep at bay the demons that pursued him.

ebook of the month

Other books by Jonathan Coe

The Rain Before it Falls

The Rain Before it Falls

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/06/2014

The Rain Before it Falls - Jonathan Coe's heartbreaking novel of family secrets Deeply moving and compelling, The Rain Before it Falls is the story of three generations of one family riven by tragedy. When Rosamund, a reluctant bearer of family secrets, dies suddenly, a mystery is left for her niece Gill to unravel. Some photograph albums and tapes point towards a blind girl named Imogen whom no one has seen in twenty years. The search for Imogen and the truth of her inheritance becomes a shocking story of mothers and daughters and of how sadness, like a musical refrain, may haunt us down the years. 'Spectacular, heartbreaking, beautifully written. Rosamund's story is one of the most extraordinary and compelling you will ever read. Impossible to put down, I loved every minute of it' Sunday Express 'A sad, often very moving story of mothers and daughters' Guardian 'Entirely compelling...the plot will keep you rapt...reminiscent of Ian McEwan at his most effective' New Statesman Jonathan Coe's novels are filled with moving, astute observations of life and love, and are written with a revealing honesty that has captivated a generation of readers. His other titles, The Accidental Woman, The Rotters' Club (winner of the Everyman Wodehouse prize), The Closed Circle, The Dwarves of Death, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, The House of Sleep (winner of the 1998 Prix Medicis Etranger), A Touch of Love, and What a Carve Up! (winner of the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), are all available in Penguin paperback.

What a Carve Up!

What a Carve Up!

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/06/2014

What a Carve Up! - a hilarious 1980s political satire by Jonathan Coe It is the 1980s and the Winshaw family are getting richer and crueller by the year: Newspaper-columnist Hilary gets thousands for telling it like it isn't; Henry's turning hospitals into car parks; Roddy's selling art in return for sex; down on the farm Dorothy's squeezing every last pound from her livestock; Thomas is making a killing on the stock exchange; and Mark is selling arms to dictators. But once their hapless biographer Michael Owen starts investigating the family's trail of greed, corruption and immoral doings, the time growing ripe for the Winshaws to receive their comeuppance. . . This wickedly funny take on life under the Thatcher government was the winner of the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 'A sustained feat of humour, suspense and polemic, full of twists and ironies' Hilary Mantel, Sunday Times 'A riveting social satire on the chattering and all-powerful upper classes' Time Out 'Big, hilarious, intricate, furious, moving' Guardian Jonathan Coe's novels are filled with biting social commentary, moving and astute observations of life and hilarious set pieces that have made him one of the most popular writers of his generation. His other titles, The Accidental Woman, A Touch of Love, The Rotters' Club (winner of the Everyman Wodehouse prize), The Closed Circle, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, The House of Sleep (winner of the1998 Prix Medicis Etranger), and The Rain Before it Falls, are all available in Penguin paperback.

The Accidental Woman

The Accidental Woman

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/06/2014

The Accidental Woman is a wickedly funny novel from bestseller Jonathan Coe For Maria, nothing is certain. Her life is a chain of accidents. Untouched by friendship, unimpressed by devoted Ronny and his endless marriage proposals, she lives in a world of her own, but not of her own making. Even as she stumbled on through university, work, marriage and motherhood, Maria finds it hard to see what all the fuss is about. Will our heroine ever be able to control the direction of her life, or will it end, as it began, by accident? What does chance next have in store for her? From the author of the award-winning The Rotters' Club and What a Carve Up!, The Accidental Woman will be enjoyed by readers of Nick Hornby and William Boyd and centres on a quirky and highly individual woman who is still struggling to find her place in life. 'The Accidental Woman has a cocky individual voice of its own. . . here's precocious, rebellious talent' Mail on Sunday 'Slyly parodies the cliches of most first novels' Guardian 'A convincing stuffy of the random impetuses by which human lives tend to be governed. It is also very funny' Spectator Jonathan Coe's novels are filled with biting social commentary, moving and astute observations of life and hilarious set pieces that have made him one of the most popular writers of his generation. His other titles, What a Carve Up! (winner of the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), A Touch of Love, The Rotters' Club (winner of the Everyman Wodehouse prize), The Closed Circle, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, The House of Sleep (winner of the1998 Prix Medicis Etranger), and The Rain Before it Falls, are all available in Penguin paperback.

The Dwarves of Death

The Dwarves of Death

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/06/2014

Music, murder ... and Madeleine. William has a lot on his mind. Firstly there's The Alaska Factory, the band he plays in. They're no good and they make his songs sound about as groovy as an unpressed record. Secondly, there's Madeleine, his high-maintenance girlfriend whose idea of a night of passion is an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical followed by a doorstep peck on the cheek. Maybe they're not soulmates after all? Lastly, there's the bizarre murder he's just witnessed. A man lies bludgeoned to death at his feet and, unfortunately for William, there aren't too many other suspects standing nearby...

The House of Sleep

The House of Sleep

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/06/2014

The House of Sleep - Jonathan Coe's comic tale of love and obsession Sarah is a narcoleptic who has dreams so vivid she mistakes them for real events; Robert has his life changed for ever by the misunderstandings arising from her condition; Terry, the insomniac, spends his wakeful nights fuelling his obsession with movies; and the increasingly unstable Dr Gregory Dudden sees sleep as a life-shortening disease which must be eradicated. . . A group of students sharing a house. They fall in and out of love, they drift apart. Yet a decade later they are drawn back together by a series of coincidences involving their obsession with sleep - and each other. . . Winner of the 1998 Prix Medicis Etranger, The House of Sleep is an intensely moving and frequently hilarious novel about love, obsession and sleep. 'Moving, clever, pleasurable, smart...one of the best books of the year' Malcolm Bradbury, The Times 'There are bits that make you laugh out loud and others that make your heart ache' Guardian 'Fiercely clever, witty, wise, hopeful...a compellingly beautiful tale of love and loss' The Times Literary Supplement Jonathan Coe's novels are filled with biting political satire, moving and astute observations of life and hilarious set pieces that have made him one of the most popular writers of his generation. His other titles, The Accidental Woman, The Rotters' Club (winner of the Everyman Wodehouse prize), The Closed Circle, The Dwarves of Death, What a Carve Up! (winner of the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize) and The Rain Before it Falls, are all available as Penguin paperback.

Marginal Notes, Doubtful Statements

Marginal Notes, Doubtful Statements

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: eBook Release Date: 05/12/2013

Marginal Notes, Doubtful Statements by Jonathan Coe - an extraordinary non-fiction collection from the author of EXPO 58From celebrating the greatness of Gulliver's Travels to tracing the impact of Margaret Thatcher's death, from interviewing Brian Eno to finding Hitchcockian elements in a Disney film, Marginal Notes, Doubtful Statements is a hugely funny, moving and fascinating 20-year journey through the world of books, music, film, politics and memory from one of Britain's most acclaimed novelists and cultural thinkers.This will be loved by fans of What A Carve Up and The Rotters' Club, as well as readers of Nick Hornby, David Foster Wallace and Zadie Smith's Changing My Mind. 'Clever and funny, enthralling and moving, this is, for my money, Coe's best novel since What A Carve-Up! Wonderful' Daily Mail on Expo 58'A rich and splendidly comic confection' Independent on EXPO 58Jonathan Coe is the author of ten novels, the latest Expo 58 (2013). His previous nine novels are all published by Penguin and include the acclaimed bestsellers What a Carve Up!, The House of Sleep and The Rotters' Club.

The Story of Gulliver

The Story of Gulliver

Author: Jonathan Coe, Sara Oddi Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2013

The disconcerting encounters of Lemuel Gulliver For the first time in his life, Gulliver felt ashamed of himself and his fellow-humans. Gulliver is a travel-hungry and adventurous ship's doctor, who has the odd misfortune of being ship-wrecked four times in as many voyages. Through Jonathan Coe's expert retelling of Swift's famous satire about our human hubris and desires, today's young readers are swept along as Gulliver finds himself a giant among tiny humans in Lilliput; a tiny human among giants in Brobdignag; on the flying island of Laputa, with its most impractical intellectuals; and finally in the land of the Houyhnhnms, talking horses who think precious little of human Yahoos . Jonathan Coe was born a long time ago in England, where he still lives. He has written twelve books, among them The House of Sleep and The Rain Before it Falls, but knows that he will never write as beautiful a book as Gulliver's Travels.

Pentatonic

Pentatonic

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: eBook Release Date: 28/11/2012

Jonathan Coe's Pentatonic is a daring and original story about family and memory inspired by music.When a family celebrates the prize-giving day at their daughter's secondary school, thoughts turn to their own childhoods. The father remembers his living room piano recital, recorded on a well-worn cassette tape. The mother remembers her own father's war tragedy. As the father searches for the physical reminder of his past and the mother longs to forget her own, they confront the breakdown of their marriage in the present.In Pentatonic, Jonathan Coe movingly explores the memories that unite us and the experiences that drive us apart. The story is simultaneously available as a digital download with the piece of music which originally inspired the story.Praise for Jonathan Coe:'Probably the best English novelist of his generation' Nick Hornby'Coe has huge powers of observation and enormous literary panache' Sunday Times 'Jonathan Coe's a fine writer who seems to try something new with every book' David Nicholls Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham in 1961. He is the author of eight bestselling novels including What a Carve Up! and The Rotters' Club, and a biography of the novelist B. S. Johnson, Like a Fiery Elephant, which won the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for best non-fiction book of the year.

Pentatonic

Pentatonic

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: eBook Release Date: 28/11/2012

Pentatonic, written and read by Jonathan Coe, is a daring and original story about family and memory, originally inspired by the accompanying music from Danny Manners. When a family celebrates the prize-giving day at their daughters secondary school, thoughts turn to their own childhoods. The father remembers his living room piano recital, recorded on a well-worn cassette tape. The mother remembers her own fathers war tragedy. As the father searches for the physical reminder of his past and the mother longs to forget her own, they confront the breakdown of their marriage in the present. In Pentatonic, Jonathan Coe movingly explores the memories that unite us and the experiences that drive us apart. This story is also available as a Penguin ebook. Text by Jonathan Coe Music by Danny Manners Produced by Ken Brake at Regal Lane Studios

The Rotters' Club

The Rotters' Club

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/05/2008

The Rotters' Club - Jonathan Coe's iconic 1970s coming-of-age novel Winner of the Everyman Wodehouse prize, The Rotters' Club follows Benjamin Trotter - bestselling author Jonathan Coe's most iconic character - through the hilarious and, at times, touching trials and tribulations of growing up in 1970s Britain. Unforgettably funny and painfully honest, Jonathan Coe's tale of Benjamin Trotter and his friends' coming of age during the 1970s is a heartfelt celebration of the joys and agonies of growing up. Featuring, among other things, IRA bombs, prog rock, punk rock, bad poetry, first love, love on the side. Prefects, detention, a few bottles of Blue Nun, lots of brown wallpaper, industrial strife, and divine intervention in the form of a pair of swimming trunks. Set against the backdrop of the decade's class struggles, tragic and riotous by turns, packed with thwarted romance and furtive sex, The Rotters' Club will be enjoyed by readers of Nick Hornby and William Boyd and anyone who ever experienced adolescence the hard way. 'One of those sweeping, ambitious yet hugely readable, moving and richly comic novels that you find all too rarely in English fiction...a masterpiece' Daily Telegraph 'Very funny...a compulsive and gripping read. Coe had achieved that rare feat: a novel stuffed with characters you really care for' The Times 'A book to cherish, a book to reread, a book to buy for all your friends' Independent on Sunday Jonathan Coe's novels are filled with biting political satire, moving and astute observations of life and hilarious set pieces that have made him one of the most popular writers of his generation. His other titles, The Closed Circle (sequel to The Rotters' Club), The Accidental Woman, The Dwarves of Death, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, The House of Sleep (winner of the 1998 Prix Medicis Etranger), A Touch of Love, What a Carve Up! (winner of the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize) and The Rain Before it Falls, are all available in Penguin paperback.

What a Carve Up!

What a Carve Up!

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/05/2008

What a Carve Up! - a hilarious 1980s political satire by Jonathan Coe It is the 1980s and the Winshaw family are getting richer and crueller by the year: Newspaper-columnist Hilary gets thousands for telling it like it isn't; Henry's turning hospitals into car parks; Roddy's selling art in return for sex; down on the farm Dorothy's squeezing every last pound from her livestock; Thomas is making a killing on the stock exchange; and Mark is selling arms to dictators. But once their hapless biographer Michael Owen starts investigating the family's trail of greed, corruption and immoral doings, the time growing ripe for the Winshaws to receive their comeuppance. . . This wickedly funny take on life under the Thatcher government was the winner of the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 'A sustained feat of humour, suspense and polemic, full of twists and ironies' Hilary Mantel, Sunday Times 'A riveting social satire on the chattering and all-powerful upper classes' Time Out 'Big, hilarious, intricate, furious, moving' Guardian Jonathan Coe's novels are filled with biting social commentary, moving and astute observations of life and hilarious set pieces that have made him one of the most popular writers of his generation. His other titles, The Accidental Woman, A Touch of Love, The Rotters' Club (winner of the Everyman Wodehouse prize), The Closed Circle, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, The House of Sleep (winner of the1998 Prix Medicis Etranger), and The Rain Before it Falls, are all available in Penguin paperback.

Like A Fiery Elephant The Story of B.S.Johnson

Like A Fiery Elephant The Story of B.S.Johnson

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/06/2005

In his heyday, during the 1960s and early 1970s, B. S. Johnson was one of the best-known young novelists in Britain. A passionate advocate for the avant-garde in both literature and film, he became famous - not to say notorious - both for his forthright views on the future of the novel and for his idiosyncratic ways of putting them into practice. But in November 1973 Johnson's lifelong depression got the better of him, and he was found dead at his north London home. He had taken his own life at the age of forty. Jonathan Coe's biography is based upon unique access to the vast collection of papers Johnson left behind after his death, and upon dozens of interviews with those who knew him best. As unconventional in form as one of its subject's own novels, it paints a remarkable picture - sometimes hilarious, often overwhelmingly sad - of a tortured personality; a man whose writing tragically failed to keep at bay the demons that pursued him.

ebook of the month
The House of Sleep

The House of Sleep

Author: Jonathan Coe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/05/1998

Sarah is narcoleptic. Her inability to distinguish between dreams and waking reality gives rise to many misunderstandings. For Terry, a disillusioned film critic, sleep is merely a memory. For Dr Dunstan, sleep is nothing less than a global disease.Constructed to reflect the different stages of sleep, The House of Sleep is a brilliant and original comedy about the powers we acquire - and those we relinqish - when we fall asleep, and when we fall in love. It must be one of the best books ofthe year - Malcolm Bradbury in the Times

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