Shop now Learn more Shop now Up to 50% off Fashion Prime Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Start reading The Rotters' Club on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The Rotters' Club [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Coe
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £6.17 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £6.17  
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  
Audio Download, Unabridged £0.00 Free with Audible trial
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

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 experience 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 Médicis Étranger), 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.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description

Amazon Review

At a time when people are looking back on the 1970s with nostalgia, Jonathan What a Carve Up Coe's The Rotters' Club is a timely reminder of quite how ghastly that benighted decade was in Britain. Set in the "industrial" heartland of the West Midlands, it chronicles the growing pains of four Brummie schoolboys--Philip, Sean, Doug and Benjamin--who must not only come to terms with the normal pangs of adolescence but with terrible knitwear, ludicrous pop-music, nightmarish food and insidious racism, all set against the awful, surreal and tragicomic reality of a post-imperial nation.

The book suffers in its programmatic attempts to make the four boys and their families symbolise, or represent, Something Important To Do With British Life. Doug, for instance, symbolises Industrial Decline, via his dad, a shop steward at the doomed British Leyland Longbridge plant. For Sean its Sexual Liberation--at least he's the one that looks most likely to get his rocks off. And young Ben Trotter would appear to represent A Young Jonathan Coe. But if this aspect of the novel seems contrived, then the author's capricious, deft, wryly comedic and touchingly empathetic style keeps things chugging along, as he knits together the troubles and tragedies of some fairly ordinary people living through fairly extraordinary years. --Sean Thomas


One of those sweeping, ambitious yet hugely readable, moving, richly comic novels that you find all too rarely in English fiction ... a masterpiece (Daily Telegraph)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1100 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 May 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI92ES
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,275 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham in 1961. His novels include The Rotters' Club, The Accidental Woman, A Touch of Love, The Dwarves of Death and What a Carve Up!, which won the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger. His latest novel is The Rain Before it Falls (Penguin, 2007).

The House of Sleep won the Writers' Guild Best Fiction Award for 1997.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High expectations - very average delivery 14 Mar. 2001
Like the other reviewers (and as a huge Coe fan) I was disappointed by his latest. He does indeed manage to get under the skin of Birmingham in the mid to late 70's. The area where Ben and his friends live is somewhere I used to visit frequently when I was their age and much of his description resonated with my own memories.
Being about the same age as Coe, I knew what was going to happen when Lois and Malcolm planned their night out to the Tavern in the Town. What was curious was that he failed to convey the subsequent horror and outrage that spread across the city for months afterwards. Ben's family seemed to be entirely unaffected by the episode, taking off to Denmark for a family holiday without any mention of poor Lois.
So many of the plot-lines disappear altogether when they could have been developed into some really interesting themes (e.g. when Cicely's uncle expresses his hatred of the English and admiration for the IRA, Ben simply says "It's a point of view" and that is the end of the matter.)
One of the delightful features of Coe's writing is that he uses magnificently inventive devices to break up the narrative (such as the wonderfully mixed up review with footnotes in House of Sleep) and he tries to do the same here, but somehow fails to bring it off. The school mag is just a little too polished and obviously authored by a professional writer and the curious decision not to use paragraphs in the final chapter (presumebly in an effort to convey Ben's giddiness) compounded the feeling that he was just galloping towards a conclusion. For the last 15 minutes, I was feeling 'let's just get this thing over with' and that tended to overshadow some of the more enjoyable moments from earlier chapters.
I wasn't aware that there was going to be a sequel.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistable 11 Nov. 2009
A must read for any English grammar school boy aged 40-48, this may not be Coe's finest novel but it's a favourite for its comic timing, superb characterisation and = above all = for the way it nails perfectly the attitudes and atmosphere of middle class school life in the 1970s. 10 out of 10 - see me.
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resonates - if you're an English 50-something 12 Dec. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Firstly - read this book first, then 'The Closed Circle.'

Secondly - read this book. If, like me, you were a teenager in the midlands in the 70's, this book is going to speak to you in so many ways. Coe's character studies are complex and beautifully drawn. Within a few pages your estimation of any one of the characters will be turned completely around. He always keeps you guessing right up the the final chapter.

After you are finished with this book, you'll automatically want to move on to the sequel 'The Closed Circle.' Although a worthy book, it doesn't quite have the punch or the mystique of 'The Rotter's Club'

Ben Trotter - my man!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 18 Jun. 2001
I enjoyed this book enormously. I suppose the world it describes - Britain in the mid 1970s - will be about as remote as that of Jane Austen to anyone under the age of thirty - but it captures my memories of the era perfectly.
Some reviewers have queried the handling of the political content, but personally I thought it was integrated well with the rest of the book.
Overall - an excellent attempt to capture the feeling of what it was like to be adolescent.
Most reviewers have either ignored the references to music of the period or just followed the usual cliches - "70s, era of flares, lava lamps and ludicrous music," etc. etc. I thought that Jonathan Coe dealt much more carefully with the music of the time - poking fun at Yes, enjoying The Clash, but quite happy to accept that, like most musical forms, Progressive Rock had plenty of good as well as bad.
Above all, it is clear that he has a great and lasting affection for the music of Hatfield & The North, whose second album gave the book its title. it would be nice if one result of this book's success was to make a few more people discover the Hatfield's music, whose merit was neglected even in the 1970s! Anyone who likes the music will certainly enjoy the book. I can't guarantee that anyone who liked the book will enjoy the music, but why not give it a try.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Happiest Days? 13 Sept. 2011
By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
An often hilarious but at times very moving story of a group of schoolfriends growing up in Birmingham in the 1970s. As someone who was born right at the end of the decade, I just about remember some of the things discussed in the book (Bernie Inns, Blue Nun, home brewed light ale, wood chip wallpaper) - Coe brings all these and more to life brilliantly. Historically, this is a fascinating book, covering the Birmingham pub bombings, the gradual collapse of the grammar school system, the terrible strikes which indirectly led to Thatcher's rise to power, and a great deal of 1970s popular culture. Coe's characters are vivid and on the whole fairly believable and often likeable. He's captured a great deal about the environment of boys' schools very well (I don't think things have changed that much in certain respects!) and creates some very memorable characters: Douglas, the Union leader's son with a liking for wealthy women, desperate even as a teenager to become a journalist, quiet Philip with his love of his city and his misplaced musical ambitions, Steve, the West Indian boy who suffers mildly racist taunts but rises to become a school prefect (until a nasty prank puts an end to his ambitions), and shy, dreamy Benjamin, the 'hero' in as far as the novel has one. As always, Coe also is a brilliant creator of female characters. I particularly liked the feisty Claire, though (as she did) I found beautiful Cicely unbearably pretentious and selfish. Coe manages deftly to blend seriousness and humour (for example, the hilarious accounts of incidents at the school contrast with the death of Benjamin's sister Lois's boyfriend in a pub bombing incident, or the nasty side of some of the workers' strikes). And Coe also sets up a few intriguing mysteries, meaning that one has to read his sequel. Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a well observed novel
if you grew up in the era you will realise how well observed this is
Published 9 days ago by James Murchison
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Very enjoyable read. It describes a time just a couple of years after I left school and for those of us from Birmingham it is so relevant.
Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read you will not want to put down
Brilliantly written book. I was back in the 70's again. Funny but also full of pathos.
Published 2 months ago by mrs k sweeney
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like the sexual descriptions
interesting as it was set in Birmingham, where I lived. Didn't like the sexual descriptions!
Published 3 months ago by jean hornsby
5.0 out of 5 stars I love all his books
This guy is a genius. I love all his books. Funny, funny, funny.
Published 11 months ago by MR D F ANDERSON
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Funny and inspiring
Published 12 months ago by pat natalini
5.0 out of 5 stars The 70`s Recaptured
In this book Jonathan Coe does a fantastic job of capturing the atmosphere and significant events of the 70`s plus the pains and heartache of being an adolescent in that period,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Michael Cruden
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. Really rung so many bells
Brilliant. Really rung so many bells. Funny and shocking. Anyone over fifty should read it, or anyone else for that matter
Published 15 months ago by indra j starnes
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I may be a bit biased as I have always lived in the Birmingham area, and so many of the places on which the book is based are familiar to me. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Richard Holland
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine
Not as great as I hoped it would be. The first 100 pages was great, amusing, sharp and engaging. Then it got bogged down.
Published 19 months ago by Fly Me to the Moon
Search Customer Reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category