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The Closed Circle Paperback – 26 Jun 2014

3.9 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (26 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241967724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241967720
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"With boundless energy and a cheerful capaciousness . . . Coe gives us a meditation on the consequences of terrorism, an examination of the post-9/11 political zeitgeist, a satire of everything from book reviewers to modern parenting, and a contemporary version of Anthony Powell's sprawling masterpiece, "A Dance to the Music of Time." --Elizabeth Judd, "The Atlantic Monthly ""The Rotters' Club (2002), Coe's witty novel of teenage schoolmates growing up in 1970s Birmingham, England, introduced an expansive cast of characters. With echoes of Anthony Trollope and Anthony Powell, this wonderful, compulsively readable sequel explores the adults those young people became--it opens in 1999 and closes in 2003--and paints a satirical but moving portrait of life at the turn of the century. Coe cleverly works real events into the plot--London's Millennium Eve, the possible shutdown of a British auto manufacturer, the war in Iraq. The theme, as in "The Rotters' Club, concerns the conflicts and connections between individual decisions and societal events, but while Coe's political sensibility is readily apparent, this novel, with its incredibly well developed characters and its immensely engaging narrative, is no polemical tract. It's a compelling, dramatic and often funny depiction of the way we live now--both savage and heartfelt at the same time." --"Publishers Weekly, starred review "[With] often-biting cultural commentary on, for example, cell phones and SUV's . . . Coe's narrative voice is pleasingly intimate, as though he were inviting his readers into the 'closed circle' referenced in the title, urging them to lean close and then closer." --Joanne Wilkinson, "Booklist "Highlyrecommended . . . This politically inspired sequal may be read and enjoyed independently, but fans of the earlier novel will be rewarded by the welcome return of an engaging cast of characters and the resoluation of outstanding mysteries." --Barbara Love, "Library Journal "The sharp eye for the socioeconomic landscape that distinguished Coe's previous outing is also quickly evident here . . . But the real point here is Coe's acid, bitingly funny portrait of early-21st century Britain, where the cradle-to-grave welfare state has been abandoned as 'a now comically outdated democratic ideal' and cab drivers knowledgably discuss varieties of wine . . . A pleasing, modern-day addition to the venerable lineage of the English social novel, easily the equal of Trollope or Galsworthy." --"Kirkus "A richly comic, entertaining novel . . . "The Closed Circle is a masterly portrayal of our ruling classes [and] a fine comedy with a disturbing undertow of menace." --Sebastian Shakespeare, "Literary Review ""The Closed Cirlce is terrific . . . Coe creates an incisive portrait of Britain at the turn of the century, with the private shenanigans of these characters set against the turn of real events: Millennieum Eve, the threatened closure of the Longbridge car factory, 11 September, war with Iraq, and even Nigella Lawson licking her fingers on TV." --Olivia Glazebrook, "Spectator "["The Closed Circle] has an up-to-the minute topicality that most writers shy away from, but it allows Coe to hone in savagely on his "betes noires . . . Coe has succeeded in accomplishing that rare feat: a pair of novels that combine the addictive quality of the best soap operas with a basic culturalintegrity." --Richard Mason, "The Independent "From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

The characters of "The Rotters' Club--Jonathan Coe's nostalgic, humorous evocation of adolescent life in the 1970s--have bartered their innocence for the vengeance of middle age in a story that is very much of the moment, charged with such issues as 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq.
On New Year's Eve of 1999, with Tony Blair presiding over a glossy new version of Britain, Benjamin Trotter watches the celebration on television in the same Birmingham house where he'd grown up. Watches, in fact, his younger brother Paul, now a member of Parliament and a rising star of New Labour, glad-handing his way through the festive crowd at the Millennium Dome. Neither of them could guess their lives are about to implode.
Paul begins an affair with his young assistant, soon realizes he has made the fatal mistake of falling in love with her, then is threatened with exposure by Doug Anderton, a journalist who happens to be one of his oldest schoolboy enemies. At the same time, Benjamin and his friend Claire, still haunted by memories almost thirty years old, make a desperate attempt to break free of the past, if only to escape the notion that their happiest years are behind them.
As Cool Britannia is forced to address its ongoing racial and social tensions--and as its role in America's "war on terrorism" grows increasingly compromised--"The Closed Circle shuttles between London and Birmingham, where fat cats, politicos, media advisers, and protesters in both locales lay bare an era when policy and PR have become indistinguishable. Meanwhile, its rich cast of characters contends with startling revelations about their youth and the pressing, perennial problems of love, vocation, and family. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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on 18 April 2017
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on 26 March 2014
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 1 March 2005
Format: Hardcover
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 27 December 2015
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