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Leading the Cheers

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
After Dan Silas's advertising company is bought out, his invitation to his thirty-year high school reunion arrives with perfect timing, and he leaves London to return to the small Michigan town he has not seen since 1968.With wit, humor, and compassion, Whitbread Award-winner and Booker Prize-nominee Justin Cartwright takes Dan through the mounting stages of both culture s ...more
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published January 29th 2000 by Carroll & Graf Publishers (first published 1998)
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Jun 16, 2013 Lynley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, brit-lit
I'm a fan of Joanna Trollope, and I remember her saying in a self-deprecating sort of way, that although she's no great stylist like Justin Cartwright, her prose is at least functional. I'd never heard of Justin Cartwright but for some reason remembered his name, and now I've finally read one of his books.

I see what she means. I'm not sure what I'd been expecting by 'great stylist' -- I wondered if Cartwright had a specific, genius way with punctuation or something. Now I think the charge of 'gr
Leoni Hofmeyr
May 06, 2008 Leoni Hofmeyr rated it really liked it
This reviewer says it well, better than I can:
At times Justin Cartwright's narrative seems filigreed with ideas and ironies; at other times it seems concerned, quite simply, with one man who learns that his "version of what goes on is certainly faulty."

Love the way Cartwright's mind works, love the way he puts it into words.
Always questioning versions of reality, always poking fun at modern "certainties", always funny, always unpeeling characters to get to their core, always contextual
Feb 09, 2017 Ian rated it liked it
I somewhat generously gave this novel three stars because the author is undoubtedly talented and capable of passages of startling brilliance, however the plot becomes simultaneously more ponderous and preposterous as the novel draws on. The whole episode of the liberationof the artifacts from the depository in London certainly stretched my credibility as did the narrators motives for such a foolhardy venture. Perhaps he was attempting to assuage his own guilt at having made a relative success of ...more
Russell George
Jan 20, 2014 Russell George rated it liked it
I’ve read a couple of Justin Cartwright books and enjoyed them, particularly ‘The Promise of Happiness’, despite it being recommended by Richard and Judy’s book club. The storyline to this book, about a British man returning to the US for a high school reunion, is both familiar and yet slightly implausible, given that his school sweetheart claims that her murdered daughter was also his, and his best mate has gone into some sort of periodic psychosis whereby he believes he is a native American.

Jul 14, 2010 Redfox5 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I found this book quiet a struggle to start and tho it wasn't awful, I found the book managed to make an intresting plot quiet dull. I only really warmed to two of the characters: Stephanie becuase I would bet money on that being me in a few years time which is very depressing and Gary becuase even tho he was crazy he seemed loveable
Feb 06, 2015 Molly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was a excellent book. I have recently discovered this writer and am trying to read all his books. I find him to have a strong hold on what makes us human. His writing stays in my head long after I have finished the page. quote from this book: The burden (of being human)is the belief that we are meant to be more than what we find.
Sep 01, 2008 Jamie rated it really liked it
Still thinking about the book and the narrator's 'small migration,' -- the meaning of memory both individual and collective. The book jacket describes the book as witty and hilarious. Wonder if we read the same book?
Feb 04, 2009 Mew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Not his best - a good 'killing time' read...
Jun 10, 2011 Francis rated it really liked it
Some interesting insights on different UK / Euro - American perceptions.
Mar 29, 2010 Morven rated it it was ok
Disappointed after The Promise of Happiness. I wouldn't recommend this book, it lost me by the end.
Jenny Benn
Dec 26, 2015 Jenny Benn rated it liked it
Cartwright is a fantastic writer. I love his prose and insightful commentary, however the story in this book didn't really grab me. I found it too unbelievable.
Jan 07, 2013 Maggie rated it liked it
Interesting book but a litte far-fetched
I only vaguely remember this book - I found an old calendar with this written on one of the pages.
Oct 30, 2015 Liz added it
Love Justin Cartwright for his commentary on today's American and British society. Well worth reading.
Debbie Windley
Debbie Windley rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2009
Colin Ellis
Colin Ellis rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2013
Meg rated it it was ok
Sep 18, 2007
Brian rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2014
Margaret rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2017
Rosalie rated it it was amazing
Apr 25, 2011
Apr 12, 2017 Keen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

(4.5 Stars!)

Cartwright really does write beautifully at times. This is a clever, quirky and inventive book that takes a fairly original approach to the reunion plot. It raises some really interesting questions with regards to the reliability of memory and how so many people can remember the same places, events and people in completely different ways, leading to some worrying and thought provoking results.

This was an enticing story, with some lovely twists and turns along the way, bringing in gri
Leslie Lowinger
Leslie Lowinger rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2013
seanat (elka)
seanat (elka) rated it did not like it
Nov 08, 2008
Peter Way
Peter Way rated it really liked it
Apr 23, 2013
C M BARR rated it it was ok
Dec 11, 2015
William Carter
William Carter rated it did not like it
Sep 10, 2010
Emma Parsons
Emma Parsons rated it liked it
Feb 11, 2013
Tom rated it really liked it
Oct 15, 2013
Laurence Boyd
Laurence Boyd rated it liked it
Feb 19, 2014
John Salt
John Salt rated it really liked it
Mar 03, 2013
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Justin Cartwright (born 1945) is a British novelist.

Justin Cartwright
He was born in South Africa, where his father was the editor of the Rand Daily Mail newspaper, and was educated there, in the United States and at Trinity College, Oxford. Cartwright has worked in advertising and has directed documentaries, films and television commercials. He managed election broadcasts, first for the Liberal Pa
More about Justin Cartwright...

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