Top critical review
characters submerged under social history detail
on 2 August 2015
I was really disappointed with this as I had read Upstairs at the Party and thought it was very good.
This book was strangely similar in as much as it paints a convincing portrait of recent times but, unlike the later book, did not have a dramatic narrative 'hook' to build upon.
Instead what we have is a rambling journey through the life and times of a couple of 'babyboomers' from their university days through to the death of one of them This is exactly my era so , in theory, it should have appealed to me much more than it did.
Although none of the characters were either entirely plausible, the women came out as marginally more realistic than the men who were very weakly drawn and tended to be caricatures
Any attempt at any personal narrative or development is drowned out by the social history references which are mildly entertaining in providing background colour but there is no real insights or attempt at any real analysis as to their real impact or effect. on the world at large. not entirely certain that is entirely valid to gatuitously use events such as9/11 or 7/7 in this way.
at a lesser level, the number of times we were reminded that Clinton was an Oxford Rhodes scholar became quie tedious.
There could have been a good book here but afraid that it never emerged ouat of the mass of backgound detail of the times in which they lived and their own personal histories.