Set in the Midlands and London over the last eight years, Jonathan Coe follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change and disruption in Britain. There are the early married years of Sophie and Ian who disagree about the future of Britain and, possibly, the future of their relationship; Sophie's grandfather whose final act is to send a postal vote for the European referendum; Doug, the political commentator, whose young daughter despairs of his lack of political nous and Doug's Remaining Tory politician partner who is savaged by the crazed trolls of Twitter. And within all these lives is the story of England itself: a story of nostalgia and irony; of friendship and rage, humour and intense bewilderment.
As acutely alert to the absurdity of the political classes as he is compassionate about those who have been left behind, this is a novel Jonathan Coe was born to write.
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! reworks the plot of an old 1960s spoof horror film of the same name, in the light of the 'carve up' of the UK's resources which some felt was carried out by Margaret Thatcher's right wing Conservative governments of the 1980s. Coe studied at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Trinity College, Cambridge, before teaching at the University of Warwick where he completed a PhD in English Literature. In July 2006 he was given an honorary degree by The University of Birmingham.