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Reader Reviewed
JAM by Jake Wallis Simons


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April 2014 Book of the Month.

A clever, absorbing story of choices and opportunities, brought about on an enforced break from the real world during a Sunday evening traffic jam. The first chapter is almost hypnotic, adroitly setting the scene during this stoppage of time; granting fleeting, flashing glimpses into someone else's day, people who aren't important to the story but are important to someone. We are then introduced to a diverse and captivating cast of characters, whose differences highlight the unlikely meeting point and ensuing action. Suspend reality for a while, just join the Jam and contemplate life alongside these intimate strangers. ~ Liz Robinson

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...

'A novel set on the M25. Now, that piqued my curiosity. I enjoy nothing more than a good 24-hour tale, film or book, and Jake Wallis Simons delivers here. JAM is a perfect blend of suspense, humanity and humour.' - Alison Rae, Managing Editor, Polygon

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Jade Craddock - 'Intriguing, original, ominous and sinister, this is a thought-provoking and magnetic read.' Read full review >
  • Angela Rhodes - 'I Loved this book!! Jake grabs your hand and imagination in a tight grip and never lets go until the very last page.' Read full review >
  • Kath Thornton - 'What an amazing read with its colourful language and mix of people...This truly is a modern up-to-date read.' Read full review >
  • Judith Smith - 'Beautifully and sometimes acerbically observed.' Read full review >
  • Alison Layland - 'I found this a thoroughly absorbing read – a wry comment on the state of the nation’s motorways that gives us an engaging portrait of the state of the nation.' Read full review >
  • Kathryn Eastman - 'If, like me, you've ever caught yourself wondering about the lives of random people you see while out and about, Jake Wallis Simons' JAM is just the book for you.' Read full review >
  • Megan Williams - 'A really interesting, thought-provoking read, which I’m sure will please most readers.' Read full review >
  • Suzanne Beney - 'I would recommend this book - we've all been stuck in traffic at some point and this realistically explores the resulting possibilities.' Read full review >
  • Alex Hetherington - 'It is anything but a circular journey and constantly ponders new questions and keeps its feet firmly in reality despite its suspicious surroundings.' Read full review >
  • Victoria Emerson - 'An Interesting book that some people will love and some people will hate.' Read full review >
  • Peter Baiden - 'The M25, is at a total standstill. How will people react, as night falls and it starts to rain? When the traffic moves in the morning, lives have changed... In the JAM.' Read full review >
  • Daran Bellingham - 'Something unusually different to read with solid characters and the backdrop of the M25...An interesting novel based on a good idea, I enjoyed it.' Read full review >
  • Sue Broom - 'Haven’t we all driven along a motorway in our metal bubble, caught a glimpse of others in their bubbles and wondered who they were?  If we met, would we get on or wish we'd stayed in our bubble?' Read full review >
  • Clair Chaytors - 'Full of immense and intense description. A perfect read.' Read full review >
  • Linda Hill - 'A well researched gritty narrative of what might happen set firmly in the here and now of modern Britain.' Read full review >
  • Diane Hinchley - 'A very interesting book written about people and their different lives who interact with each other whilst being confined within a traffic jam on the M25...Well recommended.' Read full review >
  • Katie Hoare - 'you learn a bit about each of the characters...and you are given an insight how different people cope with a difficult situation that is out of their hands.' Click Here to read the full review. Read full review >
  • Barbara Gaskell - 'This is an engaging read - well written and structured. Recommended.' Read full review >


JAM by Jake Wallis Simons

As darkness falls on the M25, the flow of traffic comes to a halt. Time passes. More time passes. Then more. Drivers switch off their engines, then get out of their cars. And so the story begins ...In this bold, state-of-the-nation novel, Jake Wallis Simons brings together characters from all walks of life and explores what happens when lives collide on the M25.


'Simons's charm lies in the loving attention he devotes to his characters'

- The Herald 'Jake Wallis Simons
bold and perceptive state

-of-the-nation novel is like a ticking time bomb. Bringing together characters from all walks of life and allowing them to collide in the urban, metal-scape of the M25 is an eye-opening experience

- CultureFly 'Jam is a terrific read: a fascinating, well written and beautifully structured look at a cross section of modern society and human beings in general

- Nut Press 'Jake Wallis Simons homes in on the motorway like a modern Dante

- Telegraph

About the Author

Jake Wallis Simons

Jake Wallis Simons is a novelist, journalist and graphic artist. His acclaimed first novel, The Exiled Times of a Tibetan Jew, was named by the Independent on Sunday as a Book of the Year. His second novel, The English German Girl — about the Kindertransport — will be published by Polygon in April 2011.

Jake’s comics have been commissioned by the Times, for whom he writes regular features on arts and culture, ideas and psychology, food, child development, Israel and religion. He has also written features for the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday, the Telegraph, La Repubblica and other publications, and his work has been featured in The Week magazine. He is a contributor to BBC Radio 4′s From Our Own Correspondent.

Born in London in 1978, Jake was awarded a first class degree in English from St Peter’s College, Oxford, before undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Jake is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, and Practitioner-in-Residence at Bournemouth University. He lives with his family in Winchester.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th March 2014


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Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General


352 pages


Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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