- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 15 hours and 15 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 11 Mar. 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003C1BNWI
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What a Carve Up!
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Top Customer Reviews
But I don't want to make it sound like a grim sociopolitical tract. At times, it's incredibly funny, and occasionally very touching. It's bookended by World War II and the Gulf War, but its examination of society probes like a laser beam into the minutiae of everyday things that affect us all, like public transport, healthcare, what we eat, how we think. Ultimately, it's a very human novel, superbly constructed and deserving of high praise.
And while I kind of see what previous reviewers mean about it not appealing to Tories or illustrating a class war, I should try to look beyond those issues because this isn't just a book about politics, it's about people - it's about us, and what we have allowed to happen to our society.
The unfashionable clarity is a result of the book's overt politics. I find that Amis and Self bury their political commentary in stories that focus on how tormented their characters feel by the unexplained vagaries of life and how irreversibly complex it's all become. Coe, on the other hand, is willing to identify and blame the forces that have made society such a mess and living so hard to figure out. It's not some Fat Controller with supernatural powers, nor a mysterious seeming-friend doing improbable things with the money system to play out a personal grudge. It's right-wing politicians and businesses who, among other things: control our news sources and fill them with meaningless gossip or misleading agitprop, stoke up wars and profit on arms sales, industrialise food production at the expense of the ecology and consumer health, and intentionally ruin our public services to serve their theological devotion to laissez faire economics.Read more ›
In a dizzying feat of narrative, we learn of the Winshaws' private and public lives, how they all intersect, and especially how intellectually and morally shallow they each are. For example, via Hilary, we see the rise of Murdoch-style tabloid journalism, via Thomas the insider trading scandals, and via Henry, the trainwreck of Tory/Thatcherite economic policies. But as if this wasn't enough to keep the reader's attention, the story also works in a mystery involving two mysterious deaths, and a strange running congruence to the 1961 comedy film What A Carve Up! The result is a whirlwind of genres, including old-fashioned Agatha Christie-style murder mystery, P.G. Wodehouse-style comic novel, Evelyn Waugh-style social satire, and Christopher Hitchens-style political polemic, all of which combine for a thoroughly entertaining read.
Some may find fault in Coe's ripe and vivid portrayal of this family of scoundrels, but it's entirely in keeping with the satiric and farcical tone of the work.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a laugh, what a concoction, what a reflection, what a rip off (of the plagiarising sort) There is so much going on in this book and in my view, little becomes clear until the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tango Oblivion
I’ve read Coe before: Expo 58 and Number 11. He’s a smart writer, one I know as I’m reading that some of his nuances and deeper meanings are slightly beyond me. Read morePublished 6 months ago by K. J. Noyes
An entertaining read, as you'd expect from Jonathan Coe. This kind of satire benefits from staying close to plausibility, but I felt that the credibility of the characters was... Read morePublished 6 months ago by David
A page-turner. Coe uses the family line of a rich and successful family to weave in points about banking, factory farming, arms dealing, and the NHS cuts in a most accessible and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Hillside
Sometimes you read a book that you dislike to start with, but end up loving. That's why I persisted with this novel - and by the time I realised it wasn't going to improve, I was... Read morePublished 7 months ago by BookWorm
This promised a lot, but failed to deliver for me. The complex mix of characters and storylines written in a satirical left wing view on society left me frustrated.Published 7 months ago by MM