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The Rotters' Club

(Rotters' Club #1)

by
3.96  ·  Rating details ·  8,303 ratings  ·  442 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
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
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
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!!!
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
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
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.
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 Molloy
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
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
Elisa
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
I feel bad about giving this 2 stars, because I love the way Jonathan Coe writes. But unfortunately I only made it to the three quarters mark before I decided not to continue. It's not a bad story, but it's so slow. I just got too bored. If it was a quarter of the length, I'd probably give it 4 stars. It doesn't help that I'm not interested in politics either, this being a major part of the story. I mainly like the way he writes about relationships and interactions, but affair after affair begin ...more
Emily
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable ramble of a book, funny and light enough in many parts that the darker sections really took me unawares. The characters were fairly convincing portrayals of teenage idealism and sincerity, although I found that sometimes they melded together to become slightly indistinct from one another. The boys were drawn with considerably more depth than the girls, but as the former were clearly the central protagonists, I won't chalk that up to sexism this time.

1970s Birmingham is not a time or
...more
Simona
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Penso che il titolo originale "The closed circle" sia maggiormente indicativo per questa opera di Coe. The closed circle o La banda dei brocchi è un circolo al quale si ha quasi paura di accedere, paura di disturbare, perché non sai se sarai accolto.

"Ora, su, si disse il padre di Philip, questa la devi sapere. Asino, no. Cinque lettere. Brocchi? Beh, c'entra ma non comincia con R. I brocchi non ce la fanno. Sono di razza inferiore".

La banda dei brocchi non è altro che un quartetto di amici che a
...more
Lena Bokogianni
Το βιβλίο ξεκινάει να μας πει την ιστορία της Λόις και του Φίλιπ, 2 εφήβων που πήγαιναν στο ίδιο σχολείο. Ή μάλλον της Λόις και του αδερφού της του Μπένζαμιν. Ή μάλλον διάφορες ιστορίες από την καθημερινότητα των εφήβων σε ένα σχολείο του Μπέρμιγχαμ τη δεκαετία του '70. Καλά εντάξει, μας λέει και κάποιες ιστορίες των γονιών τους ενιότε. Βσικά μας λέει και κάπου προς το τέλος το πώς ο Μπένζαμιν τα έφτιαξε τελικά με το κορίτσι του.

Αυτό είναι το βιβλίο και γι' αυτό μάλλον μου πήρε ένα μήνα να το τ
...more
Luc Sponger
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alleen al het laatste hoofdstuk van een razend puberbrein maakt dit origineel vertelde verhaal de moeite van het lezen waard . In het grauwe Engeland van de jaren 70 en begin 80 van de vorige eeuw , tegen een achtergrond van stakingen , de IRA ,racisme en opkomende punkmuziek volgen we een groep middelbare scholieren in Birmingham . Rauw , grappig en soms hartverscheurend melancholisch wordt niet alleen knap een tijdsbeeld geschetst maar ook fraai een verhaal verteld van de verwarring en onzeker ...more
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a couple things.... 3 21 Oct 15, 2018 09:56AM  
Hopeless Bookaholics: Η λέσχη των τιποτένιων (The Rotters' Club) 5 7 Nov 15, 2016 10:32AM  
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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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Other books in the series

Rotters' Club (3 books)
  • The Closed Circle (Rotters' Club, #2)
  • Middle England
“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.” 30 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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