Glenys's Reviews > A Week in December

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks
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Nov 30, 10

Recommended to Glenys by: Patrice
Recommended for: everyone
Read from November 24 to 28, 2010

I loved this book, a timely, well-plotted, acutely observed intertwining of several lives over one week, and a biting, almost vituperative satire on 'the way we live now'. Indeed in the evil genius of the book, John Veals, there are echoes of Augustus Melmotte, the financier in Trollope's novel of that name. This is a wonderful characterisation of an emotionally disabled man who lives to manipulate the markets, taking short positions on a bank 'too big to fail' and engineering a situation that creates havoc for Government and pain for ordinary taxpayers. The poor get poorer and Veals makes billions. I found the details of hedge-fund practices hard to grasp yet strangely fascinating -- a glimpse into an alien world that has a huge impact on society. The other characters -- attractive or unlikeable -- are equally well drawn. It's at once funny, chilling, thought-provoking and moving. Yet despite the satire, Faulks shows empathy for his characters and demonstrates the possibility of redemption, with one exception.
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