Could somebody please tell me where this story is set. I have nearly finished the book and I think it beautifully written, even though the characters for me are thoroughly unlikeable. The main problem is not being able to work out WHERE it is set. Farm girl prostitutes in shanty towns; cheese brioche and mango for breakfast; tea in a glass; strange sounding drinks. I feel totally displaced. A development planned for luxury housing within barbed wire clad walls; jumbo jets landing along the coast; slums and hinterlands. Somebofy please put me out of my misery. It is really spoiling my "enjoyment" of this book.
Surprising that no-one's replied to your post in all this time. Don't you think it's deliberate - very deliberate indeed - that the setting can't be identified, presumably to emphasise the universality of the theme of death in all its aspects. Almost everything is unplaceable, either by being universal, like the work of research scientists etc., or not quite at home where you previously thought it might be - that even applies to the characters' names. Personally, I kept thinking it must be set in South Africa, on the evidence of some details, until it occurred to me how much effort Crace had put into keeping it free of any specific place - even the various plants and animals, as far as I've been able to find, are either generalised or fictitious. Just the sort of meticulous work you'd expect from him.