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The Winshaw Legacy: or, What a Carve Up!

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,382 Ratings  ·  302 Reviews
If Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie had ever managed to collaborate, they might have produced this shamelessly entertaining novel, which introduces readers to what may be the most powerful family in England--and is certainly the vilest. A tour de force of menace, malicious comedy, and torrential social bile, this book marks the American debut of an extraordinary writer.
Paperback, 501 pages
Published January 3rd 1996 by Vintage (first published April 28th 1994)
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Ηλίας Α.
Oct 28, 2014 Ηλίας Α. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
«Το κόλπο είναι να κάνεις πάντα σκανδαλώδη πράγματα. Δεν υπάρχει λόγος να περνάς μια σκανδαλώδη νομοθεσία και μετά να δίνεις στους άλλους το χρόνο να προετοιμαστούν σχετικά. Πρέπει να παρεμβαίνεις αμέσως και να την επικαλύπτεις με κάτι ακόμα χειρότερο, προτού η κοινή γνώμη προλάβει να καταλάβει το κακό που τη βρήκε».

«Και στο μεταξύ αυτοί κάθονται σπίτι τους και χοντραίνουν με ό,τι αποκομίζουν, κι εμείς είμαστε εδώ. Οι επιχειρήσεις μας πέφτουν έξω, οι δουλειές μας πάνε κατά διαόλου, η ύπαιθρός μα
Aug 25, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
What a Carve Up! is so much more than a political novel, though it is certainly that. The Winshaw peeps represent all that was wrong with the greed decade (1980s) in Britain (when people I cared for couldn’t get a job or proper medical treatment on the national health). In spite of my disgust with those times, I’m delighted by Coe’s absolutely horrid, unabashedly over-the-top ‘baddies’ who represent what can go wrong when creeps rule. Also a plus is the ever-shifting narrative from first person ...more
Georgina Koutrouditsou
4.5* επειδή το τέλος ήταν μια μεγάλη έκπληξη γι' αυτό "το μυθιστόρημα της νεωτερικότητας",όπως χαρακτηρίστηκε!

Δεύτερο βιβλίο του Coe για εμένα και για μια ακόμη φορά με ξαφνιάζει ευχάριστα.

Και να πως έχει η ιστορία και έπεσε στα χέρια μου αυτό το βιβλίο:τον τελευταίο καιρό μέσα από συζητήσεις και λόγω των πολιτικών γεγονότων στην Ευρώπη (και όχι μόνο) προβληματίζομαι για τον ρόλο της Μεγαλης Βρετανίας.
Βασιλεία,εκλογές,δημοψηφίσματα και ένας λαός που με ξαφνιάζει συνεχώς.
Όσο για την ιστορία της χ
Stefania T.
May 12, 2013 Stefania T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Non dire gatto se non ce l'hai nel sacco.

Crisi esistenziali che Amleto levati e famme sfoga'.
Sentendomi alquanto frastornata, gironzolo per casa ciabattando, tentando di arrivare ad una decisione: quanto peso possono avere, quanta importanza posso concedere alle ultime novanta pagine de "La famiglia Winshaw", romanzo corposo ed elaborato e mirabolante?

Bisbigli a destra: "Come puoi dimenticare le quattrocento pagine che ti hanno illuminato i sensori emozionali e tecnici di lettrice? Come? Frega
Aug 03, 2015 koinian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
θα κουβαλάω αυτο το βιβλίο στην τσάντα μου πάντα, θα ρωτώ τους περαστικούς αν το έχουν διαβάσει και αν μου λένε όχι θα τους το δίνω. κι ύστερα θα το ξανααγοράζω γιά να κουβαλάω αυτο το βιβλίο στην τσάντα μου πάντα
Sep 17, 2015 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gran-bretagna
Comincio dalla fine.
Avete presenti quei pomeriggi domenicali invernali, quando fuori è freddo, in tv non c’è nulla di interessante da vedere, i dvd da guardare sono sempre gli stessi e allora, per passare il tempo, si decide di fare una partita a Cluedo? Il pomeriggio vola, a me il Cluedo piace da matti, e giocare per scoprire se l’assassino è Miss Scarlett, con la rivoltella, in sala da ballo o il colonnello Mustard, con la corda, in veranda mi appassiona molto di più che leggere un giallo o gu
Nov 08, 2009 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely wonderful. I'd read it before a few years ago, and was itching to get my hands on it again. I'm not sure exactly why it's so great - fantastic characterisation, a hugely twisting and turning plot, hilariously funny, consistently has it all.

Micheal Owen is an out of luck writer who was commissioned to write a history of the Winshaw Family, a hugely rich and hugely powerful family who between them manage to carve up pretty much every influential sphere of Br
Le malefatte di una famiglia britannica ricca e potente, i cui componenti sono viscidamente abbarbicati ai posti più prestigiosi nella società (finanza, politica, media…) e fanno del thatcherismo il punto di forza della loro sconsiderata avidità, si intersecano con le avventure private di un giovane scrittore, Michael Owen, incaricato di ricostruirne le vicende per scrivere una loro biografia.
Il romanzo presenta spunti tematici molto interessanti, offrendo bozzetti ironici e disincantati della
Aug 07, 2014 Blair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Black comedy at its finest and a perfect introduction to Jonathan Coe's style. Genuinely harrowing in places (I don't think I will EVER forget the chapter focused on Dorothy) but this is an excellent, effectively told, gripping and funny story - and I loved Michael.
Oct 04, 2015 Mikroanalogo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Δεν ξέρεις από που θα σου ρθει στο τέλος. Πανέξυπνο και απολαυστικό. ...more
Nov 13, 2014 T4ncr3d1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Quando uscimmo dall’auto, il cigolio e lo schianto delle portiere aperte e subito richiuse parvero sbriciolarsi ed essere assorbiti anch’essi dalla pace che avevamo intorno: e mi fecero pensare – chissà perché – a segni di punteggiatura abbandonati sul bianco di un foglio vuoto."

Sia lode a Jonathan Coe! Questo è un romanzo capolavoro, anzi, è il romanzo, il romanzo per eccellenza! Che stile, che arguzia, che brio!

Da dove cominciare? C'è così tanto.

Partiamo dalla struttura stessa del romanzo, or
As someone who was parked in front of a lot of 80s-90s British television at a formative age I have an attachment for the Britain of that period that is probably much the fonder for not having to have lived there. As such, What a Carve Up! was right up my alley.

Coe's rage at the decline of Great Britain's post-war settlement is palpable throughout but diminished by repeated explication (by contrast Mitchell's Cloud Atlas has a similar central theme but leaves it to the pedantic 19th century nar
This book was recommended to me by a friend who stated it was a "fun read". Oh my god, is this your idea of fun? Are you crazy, woman? Tired, dull, not-as-funny-as-it-thinks-it-is, satire on 1980's Tory Britain. Blah - the Tories are not funny whichever way you spin them (for those of you wishing to indulge in an experiment to prove this point, feel free to move to the UK and suffer under the current government like the rest of us). I just didn't see the point of this book and it is now filed un ...more
Paul Bryant
Nov 10, 2011 Paul Bryant rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Remember when Hollywood used to keep putting out extremely similar movies, two by two, at exactly the same time, like The Truman Show and Pleasantville, or Antz and A Bug's Life? This novel is the companion piece to Iain Banks' slightly better Complicity; in both someone goes around murdering representatives of the vile English establishment in amusing ways. The point is to spin some riffs on the various ways these creeps run the UK. It's all a big revenge fantasy and quite amusing and all that, ...more
Jan 22, 2015 Zaki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has an architectural beauty of construction and a fascinating plot that Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens would've tipped their hats to. What a Carve Up! is remarkable for the range and nuance of its characters.
Oct 22, 2014 Veronica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this book when it first came out in the mid-1990s, and it's still my favourite Jonathan Coe novel -- well, maybe joint favourite with The House of Sleep. It sizzles with rage, and yet makes you laugh out loud as well. As Michael, the reclusive failed writer who is the "hero" of the novel writes in a book review:
We stand badly in need of novels, after all, which show an understanding of the ideological hijack which has taken place so recently in this country, which can see its consequences
Jul 12, 2010 Jasmine rated it liked it
Shelves: british
Normally if I don't enjoy a book that someone recommends me I assume that I must be missing something, they like it there must be something great about it.

I don't feel that way about this book. Even though nick hornby says coe is the greatest modern writer and Karen said this was his best book. I am not saying this book is bad, it isn't. It just didn't strike me as horribly amazing. What was great were both endings in the novel. Coe really starts to figure out what people like me want to read w
Mar 09, 2013 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one proved to be a treat. I laughed aloud and found myself exposed, so much of my insecurity was stitched into our broader tale of oligarchy and eroding standards imposed upon those who can't afford anything else.

This is a horror novel and not in the sense that a gruesome revenge is exacted. What remains terrifying is how conservative forces render and corrupt matters in the name of freedom and choice: underfunded schools populated with ill fed children only serves one agenda. What does Vol
Feb 02, 2014 R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, best-of-2013
The most angry, beautiful, cathartic, devilish, elaborate, fulsome, generous, haunting, intricate, joyful, kaleidoscopic, lustrous, mysterious, naughty, oracular, phenomenal, questing, robust, Satanic, titanic, upsetting, and venomously wild novel I've had the pleasure of reading thus far this year.
Oct 26, 2012 Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collage of a novel made up of equal parts mystery, socio-political statement, potted family history, meta-textual literary abundance. It is funny throughout, with distinct and often repugnant characters that the reader can really sink their teeth into. It's presentation of a Thatcher-infected Britain of the 1980s and early 1990s is exceedingly effective, as Coe takes pot-shots at the first Gulf War and Arms sales, the method of food production, the print media & television and the art of p ...more
Jan 08, 2010 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this, and can say it's the first book I've really loved in ages. It's, I guess, a comic novel, which normally are not for me - but this totally got me.

It tells the story of the Winshaws, a sprawling and grotesque family full of greedy horrors, and is partly unfolded by our narrator Michael who is writing a history of the family and has plenty of his own problems.

It unfolds so brilliantly and there are so many great characters, it is rewarding from beginning to end. Funny, dark, at times
Laura Faludi
Oct 03, 2011 Laura Faludi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jonathan Coe certainly does not lack the neccessary brio what his protagonist holds in such a high esteem. A novel, which started as an alloy of a historical panorama of the 80's and a family chronicle takes some dramatic turns just to end in a bloody suspense. Or a parody of a suspense, as the whole book is flavored with a considerable amount of sarcasm and irony. Some parts are very informative, I myself found the desriptions about animal breeding especially dreadful. Coe moves his characters ...more
Annelie Bernar
Apr 01, 2015 Annelie Bernar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terzo romanzo di Coe questo,per me, ma l'autore è in grado di sorprendermi ogni volta.In questo romanzo, molto complesso e di non facile lettura, l'autore narra il presente e il passato dell'io narrante, in un continuo rimando, intrecciandoli con gli eventi che riguardano la potente famiglia inglese degli Winshaw, che uno dei suoi componenti descrive come " matti da legare, fuori di testa, bacati nella cocuzza".Una singolare famiglia, che è riuscita ad infiltrarsi e a primeggiare in tutti i sett ...more
Jan 01, 2008 Sharktrager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, in my opinion, is a masterpiece.

I think it's distinctly English and might not appeal to non Brits but it shouldn't matter.

Hilarious, satirical, heartbreaking, twists you never saw coming, loose ends tied up that you didn't notice were loose.

Yusra Gulab Jamman
I don't think I've ever laughed at a scene in a book as much as I laughed at the awkward hilarity which makes up most of pages 333-336! Even if we put the author's comic wit aside, I'd still say that as a readable social/political satire, this book is fantastic. It takes an unflinching look at many issues recognisable in contemporary culture, such as: the national media and who controls it, dodgy foreign policy/international arms deals, the ethics of mass food production, flaws in the current he ...more
Jul 17, 2015 Elsje rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015, e-book
Een jonge schrijver (Michael Owen) krijgt een aanbod dat hij niet kan weigeren: hij mag voor goed geld een boek schrijven over de invloedrijke familie Winshaw. De opdrachtgeefster is tante Tabitha, die sinds jaar en dag in een gekkengesticht is opgesloten nadat ze een van haar broers beschuldigd heeft van betrokkenheid bij de dood op een andere broer.
Tijdens het researchwerk dat Michael voor het boek doet, komt hij erachter dat de Winshaws inderdaad geen lieverdjes zijn. Op elk gebied van het B
Sep 29, 2012 Simona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nonostante abbia detestato tutti i personaggi di questo libro, nonostante reputi "La casa del sonno" insuperabile, devo ammettere che mi è piaciuto, anche se i finali dei libri di Coe mi lasciano sempre perplessa e questo non è esente da questa peculiarità.

"La famiglia Winshaw" potrebbe essere due romanzi in uno: da una parte Michael Owen, scrittore e io narrante che ha vissuto un'esistenza di solitudine e la cui vita si intreccerà con i Winshaw, in quanto è incaricato da uno dei componenti di
Oct 18, 2014 Zozetta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Το διάβασα για δεύτερη φορά μετά από 14 χρόνια, εξ αιτίας της συμμετοχής μου σε αναγνωστική λέσχη, και το βρήκα ακόμη καλύτερο, ίσως γιατί το διάβασα σε κάποιο άλλο χρονικό σημείο της ζωής μου που μου επέτρεψε να "διαβάσω" διαφορετικά, περισσότερο πολυεπίπεδα. Επαληθεύεται για μια ακόμη φορά ότι το πέρασμα του χρόνου έχει μόνο να χαρίσει σε ένα πραγματικά καλό βιβλίο.
Jan 12, 2016 Maya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Признавам, че съм крайно критична към постмодерните романи. Рядко се случва да стигна от началото до края им, без в процеса на четенето да изпитам неколкократно раздразнение от самоцелно оригиналничене, изкуствени епизодни връзки и преходи, плоска ирония и неубедителни образи.
What a Carve Up! обаче е нещо съвършено различно. Това е една от най-силните политически сатири, на които съм попадала в последните години, и определено постмодерен роман, заслужаващ суперлативи за оригиналност, многопласт
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Jonathan Coe, born 19 August 1961 in Birmingham, is a British novelist and writer. His work usually has an underlying preoccupation with political issues, although this serious engagement is often expressed comically in the form of satire. For example, What a Carve Up! rew
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“The upshot was that she lost her religion - with a vengeance - and walked out on him, taking these three daughters with her. Faith, Hope and Brenda.” 5 likes
“Well, there'll be an outcry, of course, but then it'll die down and something else will come along for people to get annoyed about. The important thing is that we save ourselves a lot of money, and meanwhile a whole generation of children from working-class or low-income families will be eating nothing but crisps and chocolate every day. Which means, in the end, that they'll grow up physically weaker and mentally slower.' Dorothy raised an eyebrow at this assertion. 'Oh, yes,' he assured her. 'A diet high in sugars lead to retarded brain growth. Our chaps have proved it.' He smiled. 'As every general knows, the secret of winning any war is to demoralize the enemy'.” 0 likes
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