Nigel's Reviews > A Week in December

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks
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M 50x66
's review
Aug 06, 2011

really liked it
Read in August, 2011

An enjoyable book portraying the twenty first century world we live in. What struck me was the different "realities" that different people live in: the hedge fund manager who only sees money and ways to make more of it ignoring the consequences; the disillusioned young Muslim who has bought into the certainty of fundamentalism; the academic whose life revolves around literature; and the extreme of the psychotic brother of one of the main characters. In addition to these Faulks weaves into the narrative an absurd reality TV game show and internet games whose participants seem to have difficulty in separating from the real world.
There are several parallel plot lines covering each of the main characters which collide and cross over as you read the novel during which Faulks also manages to have a pop at various different aspects of modern life: the education system and how it has been ruined by politicians, the literary world, modern art, bankers and financiers, reality TV and the general shallowness of much of modern day life.
One of the criticisms I've read of this book is that the characters are too shallow and are caricatures. To me though that is the point. Much of 21st century metropolitan life is shallow where we have difficulty separating what is real, what is important from a lot of the dross that surrounds us.
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