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2.72  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Inspired by Martin Amis and Zadie Smith, Ben Masters bursts on the literary scene with his lively and erudite debut novel about a college graduate on the cusp of adulthood.

Eliot Lamb has had countless nights like this before. He's out with his mates, pint in hand, shots at the ready.  They're at the King's Arms and will soon be making their familiar descent: pub, bar, club
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Hogarth (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 2.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  250 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Dec 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
I picked this up because I tend to like contemporary writing by young British writers, and this tale of the last night at Oxford sounded promising. Eliot (our narrator), Jack, Scott, and Sanjay are out for a night of epic drinking (the book's three acts mirror the three watering holes on their crawl: pub --> bar --> club), along with ladies Ella, Abi, and Megan, to celebrate the end of their undergraduate days. Intermingled with the night's events are many flashbacks of Eliot's time at Oxford an ...more
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
[An advance copy of this book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review].

2.5 stars rounded down.

‘Noughties’ follows our hapless hero Eliot on his last night at University, flashing back to fill in the backgrounds of his friends and associates.

I have to admit, I did not enjoy reading this novel. It has all the ick-factor of watching an episode of ‘The Inbetweeners’ without any of the charm and humour; in fact - as great big swathes of dialogue were unashamedl
Shaina Goodson
Jan 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I believe it was Ernest Hemingway that said, “Write drunk, edit sober.” Unfortunately I think Ben Masters wrote drunk and edited drunk. This novel was extremely hard to follow. I don’t know if it was due to all the literary references that I’m not aware of, or the British slang, but I don’t even know what happened in the end. It was hard to understand if the story was in past tense or present tense the majority of the time. Very disappointing.
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jasmine by: Greg
Shelves: british
This is a hard book to review given my usual style for review so much is the style of the book. constant interjections of useless conjecture and memory, but I cannot show that through an affected prose style, given it's pervasiveness in my constant prose style.

masters lives in a world somewhere between James Joyce and David Foster Wallace although to my taste he feels closer to joyce and maybe closer to William Blake. But the text it oozes something that lives so distinctly in wallace's texts i
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Noughties’ takes place over the course of one night- and over the course of four years. The narrator, Eliot, is spending his last night at Oxford with his fellow grads, going from pub to bar to club. As the night goes on (and Eliot and his friends drink aggressively), Eliot reminisces over his last year of school, his entrance to Oxford, his three years there, his ex-girlfriend Lucy, the people he is drinking with. He is faced with becoming an adult, and is woefully unprepared. His time at Oxfo ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
People who hate Martin Amis and his overblown contemporary writers will find a ton to hate in this novel - and I think, had I read it as an adult, I might've liked it quite a bit less. But I'm 25. The heartbreaks and missed-chances and drunken misadventures of my college days are still pretty fresh in my mind - fresher, in many ways, than the same things that happen in the real world. Because when you're all trapped together for a couple of years like that, it's bound to feel more real than anyt ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
I liked the concept and plot of the book but I found the writing style hard to follow. The literary references were a bit too much throughout, like the character was trying to prove that he was clever ALL THE TIME, while the constant (part sentences and paragraphs in brackets) made it a bit disjointed at times. Some paragraphs were bracketed despite the fact that they would have stood alone as descriptive paragraphs which just added to the story rather than being a separate thought.
Lauren Stoolfire
Aug 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I attempted to read an ARC of Noughties that I picked up at a local thrift shop.

I wanted to try this book because the premise sounds relatively interesting, but I gave up after about 30 pages. The story felt like it went nowhere at all. It was also difficult to make sense of what little story we got during Eliot's drunken ruminations on what to do after college.

No, just no.
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was better than I was hoping after skimming some reviews,a likeable character, some good lesser characters,a familiar setting... I think what let it down for me (and should this actually be a complaint?)It was such a breeze to read, needed minimal concentration, which it sometimes got, and so I wasn't always sure exactly which of the three years of uni we were in. Oooops. ...more
Olivia Meads
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
For the majority of this, I actually thought it was an autobiography, not a novel! Really interesting and not too complex. The narrator for audiobook version was very good & clear.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the many books that makes me feel very glad not to have been at Oxford as an undergrad.
Chris Craddock
Naughty, Naughty, Noughties

You gotta love a book about the first decade of the new millennium with a picture of an iPhone with a busted screen on the cover. The cell sits on what appears to be a bar, club, or pub counter. Looking around the Starbucks where I am writing this, all I see are people phubbing, which is a neologism for snubbing the people you are ostensibly with to stare at your PDA (Personal Data Assistant). We are all so bored with reality that we crave--nay--are hopelessly addicted
Full Stop

Review by Patrick Nathan

Gertrude Stein, the story goes, said to Hemingway, “That is what you are… That’s what you all are… You are a lost generation.” It proved apt as an epigraph to The Sun Also Rises, published when Hemingway was 27, but is also a phrase the media has adopted since Occupy Wall Street took Zuccotti Park in September of 2011. It’s hard, though, to believe any generation — alienated from their parents’ world by technological and cultural sh
Noughties is the story of Elliot Lamb, who has just finished studying English at Oxford and is having a celebratory night out with all his friends-with the novel being split into Pub, Bar and Club. However, there is plenty of unfinished business between Elliot and his friends Ella and Jack in particular-and his ex-girlfriend Lucy is continually trying to get in touch with him.
Masters' writing is generally pretty good, he definitely brings to life the university experience and all the anxiety
Andrew Dale
I don't regret reading this book but it was certainly one of the less artful novels I've read recently.

It focuses on a group of friends attempting to enjoy their last night out at Cambridge before they graduate. The plot is told through a series of flashbacks from the main character as they proceed from Pub, to Bar and then to Club and home again after. The device is interesting enough and there are a few well-written scenes, in particular the main character's Cambridge admission interview.

Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Noughties is a coming of age tale told over the course of an evening of the last night of uni interspersed with trips into the past. It’s Ben Masters’ first novel.

I anticipated seeing more of myself in the main character (Eliot) based on the synopsis. Inevitably there were moments when I saw a little of myself in him; overall though, I’ll say that Eliot is unique. We had a significantly different university experience and he is kind of a selfish dick. So instead of trying to self-reflect I ended
David Edgar
Ok to pretty good. Book told from the point of view of narrator Eliot of his last night at university and the ensuing pub crawl. In three sections, we move from Pub to Bar to Club. During this we meet his friends, Jack (his bestie), Sanjay, Scott, Megan, Ali, and Ella (the object of his desires). Through flashbacks we learn of the key moments of his three years at Oxford Uni and of Lucy, his hometown girlfriend that he struggles to deal with as he grows up at home.
The privileged upbringings are
Tim Roast
This book is about Eliot Lamb who is out with his Uni mates as they celebrate their last night at Oxford University. They go to a pub, a bar and then a club. In between Eliot reminisces about his three-years there, which means he reminisces mainly about girl trouble.

If I were to mark it as if it were a thesis I would mark it thus:

Good points:
There is some good stuff in this book. I like the author’s way of describing things. Straight from the off there are good descriptions, e.g. “Scott with hi
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars. This book was difficult to read at times because of the references that I'm too old and too American to get. It follows Eliot and his mates as they celebrate their last night as Oxford students. Through flashbacks you get Eliot's version of the last three years. And Eliot is a very self centered lad. I think you'd be hard pressed to find many people that age who are not. To the people around him, including his friends, he comes across as arrogant and even uncaring. Though Eliot is sel ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books
I feel like Masters did some interesting things with textuality and grammar--reflective of the POV being an English Oxford graduate--that would be clear if I were willing to sit down and do a close reading; but I'm not, so I was left with the surface story, which was a tedious thing about a predictably jejune brat who thinks he speaks for a generation and his mates as they get hammered the night before leaving university.

If you like Catcher in the Rye, you'll probably like this book. If you hate
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really wanted for this book to engage me: a self-absorbed English literature student who feels completely out of his league having come to Oxford from a small village, leaving his younger girlfriend at home when he goes off to university, and falling in love (or fantasy) with the posh and seemingly perfect girl of his dreams. His entire life is inside of his head, is words, is trying to get the structure of his plotting and utterances perfect, but it rarely turns out that way. Our protagonist ...more
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-on-kindle
I don't know enough of Zadie Smith's writing to strike a comparison but there are definitely influences of Martin Amis in this book (whether you consider this a good thing or not is another matter). The one thing I kept thinking whilst reading this was that I'm so glad I was born when I was and that I went through the experience of undergrad university at the time I did. The life of the Oxford undergrads depicted in the book whilst ringing true really did not seem that fun, rather desperate. The ...more
Emma Reid
Parts of this novel were engaging and stylistically brilliant, but the plot and character development let it down. The ending was anticlimactic to say the least and the characters seemed to undergo very little development over the three years they spent at Oxford. There were however some beautiful moments; the Oxford interview was particularly well written and gave the idea that the reader was there with Eliot, desperately trying to analyse the interview poem. A solid 3 stars, I would definitely ...more
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel for particular tastes because it is extremely self-conscious. An Oxford student of English literature is about to graduate, and has to own up to his past mistakes. Elliot goes out drinking and texting, suffers though English tutorials, and stays true to his best mates. I liked the contrast between the beauty and meaning of the works that Elliot is studying, and his actual nights spent puking in toilets! I also thought that the complexities of the friendships in the book rang true ...more
Melinda Elizabeth
This is a difficult book to review. I want to give it a good rating because parts of it were interesting but for the main part the book felt like a really bad theatre production. Setting: Multiple bars. Dream monologues to break up monotony, flashbacks, a tantalising call that is the crux of the whole novel. But it was just a little too bizarre in points to be given a better rating.

It's not going to be for everyone.
Naughties by Ben Masters was an interesting book to read. Reminded me of a number of college students I knew who spent as much time partying as studying. An interaction of students trying to figure out life and what to do about it. Making mistakes and spending a lot of time worrying about whether things will be okay. Just your typical story about growing up. Not one I would have bought, but an enjoyable read.
More like 3.5 rather than 3, but not a 4, hence the rating... Good read overall but found myself skipping the parts that I think I was supposed to be impressed with from a literary perspective (text speak section, litcrit sessions, etc). Maybe thats missing the point but I personally thought that with fewer literary devices/diversions this woudl have been a much better read.
Sep 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say that I love British literature for its' political incorrectness, but this one simply didn't work for me. Told from a reflective stance for a young man wrapping up his college years think sex and drugs and you have Noughties. I just thought there was a ton of fluff with no substance. Just didn't rock my boat AT ALL! ...more
Washington Centerville Public Library
I started out loving this book, but it felt tired by the end. The concept is great. The author is clearly clever. I generally like the writing. Somehow, though, it just didn't tie together into something that really pulled me in. I'll definitely be watching for future books from Masters, though. ...more
Tiffin-Seneca Public Library
Nov 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: cm
The story follows graduating student Eliot and his friends through their last night of partying around campus, with flashbacks to past events he is trying to come to grips with before leaving for home. I was sucked in immediately, but the story didn't progress quite how I thought it would. This is a pretty solid debut and I look forward to where Masters goes from here. ...more
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