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I'll Go To Bed At Noon by Gerard Woodward

I'll Go To Bed At Noon

Literary Fiction   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Shortlisted for the recent major literary award, the Man Booker prize 2004, the second novel to follow the lives of the dysfunctional Joneses, most of whom are alcoholics. A light, easy-flowing, humorous style takes us through a sad, but not portrayed as tragic, tale. Quite brilliant – unputdownable and highly impressive.

Comparison: Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, A L Kennedy, Julian Barnes.
Similar this month: Nicola Barker, David Lodge.

If you like Gerard Woodward you might also like to read books by Julian Barnes, Melvyn Bragg and Julian Barnes.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


I'll Go To Bed At Noon by Gerard Woodward

Colette Jones has had drink problems in the past, but now it seems as though her whole family is in danger of turning to alcohol. Her oldest son has thrown away a promising musical career for a job behind the counter in a builders' merchants, and his drinking sprees with his brother-in-law Bill, a pseudo-Marxist supermarket butcher who seems to see alcohol as central to the proletarian revolution, have started to land him in trouble with the police. Meanwhile Colette's recently widowered older brother is following an equally self-destructive path, having knocked back an entire cellar of homemade wine, he's now on the gin, a bottle a day and counting. Who will be next? Her youngest son had decided to run away to sea, but when her own husband hits the bottle Colette realises she has to act. As the pressure builds on Colette to cope with these damaged people, her own weaknesses begin to emerge, and become crucial to the outcome of all their lives.

By way of an odyssey through the pubs, parks and drying-out clinics of suburban North London, Gerard Woodward's richly woven second novel I'll Go To Bed At Noon charts in microscopic detail the continuing history of a troubled but unforgettable family (first encountered in August) as it lurches from farce to tragedy and back again, and from one end of the 1970's to the other, and at the same time presents an unflinching portrait of British society in the unstable years leading up to the Thatcher revolution.

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The narrative is mind-bogglingly crisp, resourceful and sometimes hilarious in its description of the myriad ways in which people drink... This is both a moral and a literary book... Remarkable * Sunday Times * This is a novel where the characters seem like friends and family. It's a fine achievement -- Blake Morrison * Guardian * The funniest sad book you'll read all year * The Times * A painfully funny, beautifully written account of a wayward family falling like dominoes to the demon drink -- Rowan Pelling Far above the ordinary. Woodward's characters are wonderfully complex and rich * Daily Telegraph *

About the Author

Gerard Woodward

Gerard Woodward lives in Bath. His first novel, August, was published in 2001 to great acclaim, and he has also written three award-winning collections of poetry. When he is not writing, Gerard refills the chocolate machines at Manchester University.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th July 2005


Gerard Woodward

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448 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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