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The Rotters' Club

(Rotters' Club #1)

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  8,856 ratings  ·  482 reviews
Birmingham, England, c. 1973: industrial strikes, bad pop music, corrosive class warfare, adolescent angst, IRA bombings. Four friends: a class clown who stoops very low for a laugh; a confused artist enthralled by guitar rock; an earnest radical with socialist leanings; and a quiet dreamer obsessed with poetry, God, and the prettiest girl in school. As the world appears t ...more
Paperback, 415 pages
Published February 4th 2003 by Vintage (first published February 22nd 2001)
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Johannes Yes, and now with "Little England" we shall get yet another glimpse of them. I'm very interested on how the whole familiar Trotter drama played out.

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Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Απρόσμενα καλό βιβλίο. Το περίμενα ως ένα κλασσικό μυθιστόρημα ενηλικίωσης, κάτι φίλοι στο σχολείο, τυπικά Αγγλάκια που μεγαλώνουν στο αυστηρό βρετανικό εκπαιδευτικό σύστημα. Βασικά είναι ένα πολιτικό βιβλίο, σε μια ταραγμένη Αγγλία στα τέλη της δεκαετίας του 70, εν μέσω απεργιών, και κλείνει με την άνοδο της Θάτσερ στην εξουσία. Οι ενήλικες, γονείς των παιδιών δουλεύουν σε ένα εργοστάσιο που απεργεί, και μεταξύ τους σχέσεις, μέσα σε μια Αγγλία που σείεται. Βιβλίο-μωσαϊκό (αφηγήσεις σε πρώτο κ ...more
Zaphirenia
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brace2019
Συνήθως δε με τρελαίνουν τα βιβλία που αναφέρονται σε μουσικές, γειτονιές, κλπ. και ειδικά εάν έχουν πρωταγωνιστές εφήβους, αλλά οκ, μιλάμε για τον Jonathan Coe, οπότε δεν περίμενα κάτι λιγότερο από ένα τουλάχιστον διασκεδαστικο και χορταστικό βιβλίο. Τέτοιο ακριβώς βιβλίο είναι η Λεσχη των Τιποτενιων, γεμάτο χιούμορ, πολιτική σάτιρα, και περιγραφές μιας "περίεργης εποχής", όπως μας πληροφορεί ο συγγραφέας, της δεκαετίας του '70 στην Αγγλία. Οι επαγγελματικές ενώσεις οδηγούν τους εργαζόμενους σε ...more
Anna
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-life
Ένα βιβλίο για τη ζωή στην αγγλική επαρχία της δεκαετίας του 1970… Ε και; Τι με ενδιαφέρει εμένα να αυτό, δεδομένου ότι δεν είμαι ούτε ιστορικός (εντάξει, δεν μου φαίνεται τόσο μακρινή η δεκαετία του ’70, λαογράφος ας πω), ούτε Αγγλίδα (φτου μακριά), ούτε κοινωνιολόγος ή πολιτικός επιστήμονας για να ενδιαφέρει η εξέλιξη της κοινωνίας της Αγγλίας. Βασικά, πραγματικά, το θέμα του βιβλίου δεν με ενδιέφερε καθόλου…

Αλλά, ο Coe είναι άπαιχτος. Πρωταγωνιστές είναι μια ομάδα έφηβων μαθητών που τους συνα
...more
Anastasia
Η λέσχη των τιποτένιων σκιαγραφεί τη Βρετανία της δεκαετίας του ’70 και ζωντανεύει σκηνές καθημερινής ζωής του Μπέρμιγχαμ μέσα από μια εξιστόρηση γεγονότων η οποία λαμβάνει χώρα μεταξύ δύο νεαρών παιδιών ένα βράδυ στο Βερολίνο το 2003. Πρόκειται για την αναπαράσταση μιας ιδιαίτερα ενδιαφέρουσας χρονικής περιόδου στην ιστορία της Βρετανίας, μέσα από το πρίσμα οικογενειακών ιστοριών και του μικρόκοσμου μιας σχολικής τάξης. Το εξαιρετικό ψυχογράφημα των βασικών ηρώων, ακόμη και των δευτερευόντων χα ...more
Chris_P
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-diamonds
It was the world, the world itself that was beyond his reach, this whole absurdly vast, complex, random, measureless construct, this never-ending ebb and flow of human relations, political relations, cultures, histories… How could anyone hope to master such things? It was not like music. Music always made sense. The music he heard that night was lucid, knowable, full of intelligence and humour, wistfulness and energy and hope. He would never understand the world, but he would always love this m
...more
Vit Babenco
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Telling his controversially romantic story Jonathan Coe is at the same time most ironic and nostalgic.
When we grow up it seems to us that we live in the best of times. But reality may be quite different… And the middle of the seventies was the time of stagnation.
“They sat and drank their pints. The tables in which their faces were dimly reflected were dark brown, the darkest brown, the colour of Bournville chocolate. The walls were a lighter brown, the colour of Dairy Milk. The carpet was brown
...more
Paltia
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Damn, I loved this book. Keeping one half of my mind on what I was reading and the rest on how I was feeling, thinking and believing in respect to what he had to say. This book kept me present in the moment - completely and authentically witnessing whatever was being conveyed. Few books manage to accomplish this. When those times came where my reading was interrupted I couldn’t wait to return to the story. Coe makes it so easy to pick up his character’s transmissions. There is zero interference. ...more
Taylor
May 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like their novels to have a little bit of everything
Much to my delight, this held up very strong on the second read. Before I re-read it, I browsed through some of the reviews others had written on this site, and it made me nervous - maybe I just loved this book so much because I was young and it's about youth, so I just connected to it out of a common vim and vigor.

Not the case.

Not only did I love it the second time around, I think I liked it even more.

As much as I don't like to compare authors so much, I can't help but describe this as Rushdie
...more
Three
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
con Coe ho una lunga storia d'amore, recentemente turbata da un episodio un po' infelice.
Il nostro amore è nato con questo libro (che però non credo sia il suo primo ad essere stato scritto e/o tradotto) ed è proseguito fino ai nostri giorni, lungo alcuni decenni in cui l'Inghilterra è cambiata profondamente, diventando - da paese di diffuse e comuni ristrettezze, ricco di diffusissimo e variegato talento (basti pensare alla meravigliosa coincidenza che ha fatto nascere Mick Jagger, Paul McCartn
...more
FotisK
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Διαβάστηκε κάποια στιγμή το 2001, οπότε δεν θυμάμαι και πολλά πράγματα. Σαφώς, μου είχε φανεί κατώτερο του "Τι ωραίο πλιάτσικο". Συμπαθές ως άποψη, ικανοποιητικό ως γραφή.
Elina
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μόνο ο Κόου μπορεί να πλέξει έτσι χαρακτήρες!!!
Eleni
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
‘Great guy wishes groovy chick to write, into Tull, Pink Floyd, 17-28.’

‘Wanted girl friend, any age, but 4 ft. 10 in. or under, all letters answered.’

“Guy, 18, cat lover, seeks London chick, into Sabbath. Only Freaks please.”

“Freaky Guy (20) wants crazy chick (16+) for love. Into Quo and Zep”

Leeds boy with scooter, looks OK, seeks girlfriend 17-21 for discos, concerts. Photo appreciated

[Note: the above are quotations from genuine lonely hearts advertisements in Sounds (1973)]


Why the hell had I n
...more
Ophelinha
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My second reading of The Rotters' club has made me notice so many little things I had somehow missed the first time round. This is Coe at his sharpest, unveiling inconvenient sides of England - the elitism, the social
Stratification, the racism, the destruction of welfare state under Thatcher, the war conducted against trade unions - the dark side of a country I have come to love so much, told by characters who stick with the reader long after the novel has been finished and put back in the shelf
...more
Zioluc
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa
Coming of age di un gruppo di ragazzi britannici nei tardi anni '70. Scritto durante una residenza nel bresciano e ricco di riferimenti all'Italia, è un romanzo piacevole anche se un po' artefatto. Abbondano gli esercizi di stile (pagine di diario, articoli di giornale, testi di canzoni) che probabilmente non erano necessari, e in particolare i dialoghi tra i figli dei protagonisti - che si incontrano a Berlino nel 2002 e fanno da narratori - sono improbabili e fuori registro.

Ha un seguito ("Cir
...more
Georgina Koutrouditsou
Να και εγώ στον γνώριμο κόσμο-για πολλούς-του Τζόναθαν Κόου.
Και τελικά όσοι μου το έλεγαν είχαν δίκιο,αξίζει.Πολύ!
Υπέροχος λόγος και μετάφραση,αρχικά.Το περιεχόμενο με μετέφερε σε περιοχές και ιστορίες που δεν ήξερα.Επίσης όλο το βιβλίο έχει μουσικές και αυτό το κάνει μοναδικό,με τις υποσημειώσεις του.Επίσης εξαιρετικό το επίμετρο-σχόλιο μιας εποχής άγνωστης στην χώρα μας.Αλήθεια,πόσο φωτίζεται η βρετανική κοινωνία μέσω του Κόου;Πολύ,θα έλεγα.
Οπότε συνεχίζω δυναμικά στον κόσμο του Κόου,καθώς μάλ
...more
Silvia
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superfav_ever
Ha retto.
Dolceluna
Deliziosa la genuinità dei personaggi, bella l'atmosfera dell'Inghilterra anni '70, fra turbamenti sociali, lotte politiche, bella musica e nuove tendenze. Un microcosmo culturale in fermento, in cui emergono nuove consapevolezze che smuovono identità solitarie, affranti, ribelli e intraprendenti. Il sapore di un tempo perso, forse non meno turbolento di quello attuale ma comunque più genuino, più consapevole e meno deprimente.
Insomma, dovendomeli visionare nella mente, me li sono immaginati un
...more
Nasia
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
One thing is certain: I thoroughly enjoy reading everything written by Coe, his prose is to the point, cynical and very very British! I learned quite a lot about Britain in the 70's and I absolutely loved the longest English sentence, comprising of 13,955 words.
Georgios Kioiloglou
Στην Άγγλια της δεκαετίας του 70, που ταλανίζεται από ταραχώδεις αλλαγές στην πολιτική, την οικονομία και το αυξανόμενο κοινωνικό μίσος, μια παρέα εφήβων αυτοπροσδιορίζεται καθώς μεγαλώνει, κι ερωτεύεται, κάνει πλάκες, και παλεύει να ανακαλύψει την μουσική, το σεξ αλλά και τον Θεό.. Κάθε προσομοίωση με τις ζωές μας, ή τις ζωές των παιδιών μας που χάνουν σταδιακά την δίκη τους αθωότητα, μα και με το πρόσφατο ελληνικό στάτους, καλοδεχούμενη. Αγαπάμε Τζόναθαν Κόου. ...more
Mary Kaimatzoglou
3,5 *.Ωραίος ο τρόπος γραφής του Τζ.Κόου.Με μετέφερε στη Μεγάλη Βρετανία της δεκαετίας του '70 με την πολιτική και κοινωνική ματιά του έτσι όπως αυτή φαίνεται από την εξιστόρηση της ζωής μιας παρέας εφήβων που καλείται να ανατραφεί και να ''βαδίσει''προς την ενηλικίωση τότε.Μου άρεσε αρκετά το στήσιμο των χαρακτήρων και κάποια σημεία με σαφές αντιρατσιστικό νόημα.Πολύ καλή κι η μετάφραση.Ωστόσο,κάτι μου έλειπε.
Jackie
The Trotter family, Mum – Sheila, Dad – Colin children Ben going to King William’s , Lois working and Paul still at school, are the central group who see new people come and go through the years as they work, play, study and fight. Ben’s friends Philip Chase and Dougie Anderton are at the same school so depending upon their particular likes and dislikes, get involved with the music scene often quoting the NME (New Musical Express), the school magazine, the fights, the way life moves and bends th ...more
Jonathan Norton
Feb 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jonathan Coe's a jolly nice chap, and his articles on various topics are interesting, above all his long campaign championing B.S.Johnson, which I remember him launching in The Spectator in 1991, culminating in the superb biography. So it's a shame that I have to admit I've never thought much of his own fiction, which always seems to be quite bland, cliched prose stapled together with awkward attempts at Johnsonian formal experimentalism, which only emphasise how far he's falling short of his he ...more
Justin Evans
May 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This gave me almost everything I want. What do I want from a novel? I want it funny but sincere; hard-nosed but sentimental; readable but formally interesting; restrained but also balls to the wall. Ideally it'll be concerned with social events while grounding them in personal lives.
RC isn't laugh out loud funny, but it's pretty funny. I felt a bit bad laughing at people who get excited at the culinary possibilities of sour cream and sometimes Coe takes too many cheap shots of the 'boy the seve
...more
Paolo
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il club dei rotter (il titolo originale, preso in prestito da una canzone, è un gioco di parole con il cognome della famiglia del protagonista principale del romanzo, Benjamin Trotter) lascia soddisfatti a metà. Forse perché il libro è di fatto un incompiuto, separato artificialmente dal suo seguito naturale (pubblicato poi in Circolo chiuso), ma il sapore che resta al termine della lettura copre, fino quasi a sfumarlo, il gusto di aver assistito a un maestoso, cupo affresco dell'Inghilterra deg ...more
Tahira
Oct 19, 2012 rated it liked it
It took me at least 100 pages to finally settle into The Rotter's Club. It certainly does not fit the kind of profile of book that I tend to read, but I was feeling a little uninspired and this book was recommended to me.

It was hard to keep track of the layered plot lines initially, but I eventually got a hold of them. I also felt as though I would have been better equipped had I known more about Britain during the 1970s. But there was something charming about a lot of the characters, perhaps be
...more
Tom
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Rotters’ Club is a novel set in an England in the early 1970s. A very different country to what it is now. In 1973 the UK was going through a bombing campaign by the IRA, strikes including a national miners’ strike and power cuts (an infamous 3-day week had to be employed on commerce and industry - check Youtube film of office staff having to work by candlelight), growing far left and far right populists.

Add to this mix school rivalries within an environment of a “malign, inexorable divisiv
...more
Mika Arvanitaki
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ο Κοου ως δεινος αφηγητης και συγγραφεας, συνθετει με ευφυη τροπο ενα μικροκοσμο εφηβων στο Μπερμινγχαμ τη δεκαετια του '70, τοποθετωντας τον ωστοσο στο ευρυτερο πολιτικο, κοινωνικο, οικονομικο περιβαλλον της εποχης, οπου οι εφηβοι μαζι με τον αναγνωστη προβληματιζονται, ερωτευονται, γελουν, ακροβατουν αναμεσα στην αθωοτητα και τη σκληρη πραγματικοτητα, γιατι ο Κοου καταφερνει να παρουσιασει ενα ποικιλο μωσαικο ανθρβπινων χαρακτηρων και συναισθηματων με μοναδικο τροπο.. Βαθια ανθρωποκεντρικο και ...more
Dimi Stef
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Στο μυαλό του Τζόναθαν Κόου δεν υπάρχει μια απλή καθημερινότητα. Στο μυαλό του Τζόναθαν Κόου κάθε καθημερινότητα είναι μια βαθιά πολιτική καθημερινότητα. Στο μυαλό του Τζόναθαν Κόου υπάρχει μια πολιτική διάσταση (φανερή ή δυσδιάκριτη) στους πάντες και τα πάντα: στον καθώς πρέπει έφηβο που καθημερινά κάνει μια βαθιά υπόκλιση στο θυρεό του καθώς πρέπει, ιδιωτικού σχολείου του, στον έφηβο που γρατζουνάει μια κιθάρα και ονειρεύεται μια δημιουργική καριέρα στη μουσική, το θέατρο ή τη συγγραφή, στον έ ...more
Neil Fox
Feb 03, 2017 rated it liked it
In physical years, the 1970's are closer to the end of WW2 than they are to where we sit today in 2017. But as a State of mind, the 70's seem light years away, an anomaly of a Decade or a unique State of Mind that was very different to the Swinging 60's preceeding it or the 80's that came after. For myself and my contemporaries now in our late 40's, the 70's inhabit a dusty, murky corner of Childhood memory, and for friends of mine in their 50's they define an adolescence with a context that was ...more
Philtrum
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s something of a mystery to me how I missed this book for so many years. It was published in 2001 but I didn’t get around to reading it until 2013.

I had been aware of it, vaguely. Had I know what it was about, I’m sure I would have read it much sooner.

Why? Well, aside from the fact I couldn’t have written it – not having the necessary literary skills – it might have been about my life.

The story concerns a group of four boys who attend a public (private) school in Birmingham (UK) in the 1970s,
...more
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a couple things.... 4 25 Jan 03, 2019 08:46AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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! rew
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Rotters' Club (3 books)
  • The Closed Circle (Rotters' Club, #2)
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“Sometimes I feel that I am destined always to be offstage whenever the main action occurs. That God has made me the victim of some cosmic practical joke, by assigning me little more than a walk-on part in my own life. Or sometimes I feel that my role is simply to be a spectator to other people's stories, and always to wander away at the most important moment, drifiting into the kitchen to make a cup of tea just as the denouement unfolds.” 31 likes
“These pieces, he already realised, were merely stepping stones at the start of a journey towards something - some grand artefact, either musical, or literary, or filmic, or perhaps a combination of all three - towards which he knew he was advancing, slowly but with a steady, inexorable tread. Something which would enshrine his feelings for Cicely, and which she would perhaps hear, or read, or see in ten or twenty years' time, and suddenly realize, on her pulse, that it was created for her, intended for her, and that of all the boys who had swarmed around her like so many drones at school, Benjamin had been, without her having the wit to notice it, by far the purest in heart, by far the most gifted and giving. On that day the awareness of all she had missed, all she had lost, would finally break upon her in an instant, and she would weep; weep for her foolishness, and of the love that might have been between them.

Of course, Benjamin could always just have spoken to her, gone up to her in the bus queue and asked her for a date. But this seemed to him, on the whole, the more satisfactory approach.”
5 likes
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