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I'll Go to Bed at Noon (The Jones Trilogy #2)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  420 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Colette Jones has had problems of her own with alcohol, but now it seems as though her whole family is in danger of turning to booze. Her oldest son, Janus, the family's golden boy, has wasted his talents as a concert pianist. His drinking sprees with his brother-in-law, Bill, a pseudo-Marxist supermarket butcher who sees alcohol as central to the proletarian revolution, h ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 17th 2005 by W. W. Norton Company (first published August 24th 2004)
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Description: Colette Jones has had drink problems in the past, but now it seems as though her whole family is in danger of turning to alcohol. Her oldest son has thrown away a promising musical career for a job behind the counter in a builders' merchants, and his drinking sprees with his brother-in-law Bill, a pseudo-Marxist supermarket butcher who seems to see alcohol as central to the proletarian revolution, have started to land him in trouble with the police. Meanwhile Colette's recently wido ...more
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, overrated
What on earth was the Man Booker committee thinking with this one? The only prize-worthy thing about this book is the title; other than that, I can't imagine why this book was put on the long list, much less the short one.

Nothing happens here at all -- a family composed mostly of alcoholics acts mean to everyone, fucks up, commits crimes, and then a bunch of them die. That would be fine in the hands of a writer who had something to say -- what Jonathan Franzen could have done with this! -- but
Justin Evans
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I wouldn't bother reading this if you're looking for a primer on alcoholism- that seems more like a marketing tactic than an important feature of the novel. Yes, there is plenty of addiction here, but it'll be incomprehensible if you haven't read 'August.' A lot of reviewers, as with August, complain that 'nothing' happens; that there's no character development; that the characters are unsympathetic. Just to be clear: what exactly is meant to happen in a novel that doesn't? There's death. There' ...more
Jayne Gray
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my favourite book ever! Although it needs to be read as part of a trilogy (August being the first of the 3). The family is completely dysfunctional, yet they don't seem to realise it. I could relate to several of the characters, from the addicted Mum, to the mad-genius musical son, and the daughter who just wanted to get away from it all. It is written so cleverly that the whole tragic situation is kind of humorous at the same time. I have read this book several times, and intend to read ...more
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
This is the sequel to August, and follows the next stage of the Jones' lives, picking up about four years after the close of the first book. Colette has given up sniffing glue and become a low-key alcoholic. Janus continues down the the path of alcoholism and unbalanced behavior, which eventually results in his eviction from the family home. The Jones' other children gradually leave the home to forge their own adult lives and escape from Janus' menacing influence.
The characterizations remain ful
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
Jul 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-away
Okay, I had really high hopes for this book - about alcohol addiction and a Man Booker Prize finalist. However, I had to read the first chapter twice just to get the family structure down and I was still confused. Then I realized there were two main characters with the same name - Who does that??? I tried reading this a few times with an incredibly open mind but found it hard to follow, pretentious, and very annoying. I actually put it in the garage sale bin that is growing in my garage. I NEVER ...more
Oct 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really excellent writing about alcoholism. The characters are really well developed. On the book someone writes that this is the best descripton of alcoholism since Kingsley Amis. Wholeheartedly agree. Gerard Woodward was able to show the ravages of alcohol on families and individuals. Not an upbeat read but well worth it.
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book about a family in North London and the ravages of alcohol - but don't read it if you are to be fretting over the health of the characters. I didn't know it was part of a trilogy - I will definitely read the others.
Iain McNab
This is a terrific and beautifully written novel, the second in the trilogy begun with August, focusing on a dysfunctional north London family grappling with drink, drugs and the 1970s. Grim, funny and very moving.
Mar 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! The complexity of characters and disease is so accurate yet humorous. It is also brilliantly written in 1970's England... One of my favorites!
Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Marcy
Shelves: fiction
Loved loved loved this. How did he make an bad, alcoholic mother so sympathetic that I was haunted by this book for days after? Interesting complement to Glass Castle!
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
fantastic book about alcoholics, very funny and forty or so pages are set in my home town (Tewkesbury)- so added interest for me - but I'm sure everyone who can read will like this.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
I am a huge fan of the precursor to this novel, August, so I had high expectations for I'll Go to Bed at Noon. I liked the first novel better; I enjoyed being transported to Wales and growing up with the Joneses.

This novel is also well-written and Woodward continues to strongly develop his characters - and it's precisely because of how well-written Colette and Aldous are in particular that this novel is hard to read at times. You want things to turn out well for them, you want for them to be ha
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
about 2/3 through it's become tiresome - I agree with some of the other reviewers -- a litany of life with a family of alcoholics without introspection or much else to offer. I've found myself skimming to get to the end. I should have known from the opening letter!
Philippa Dissel
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
What a dysfunctional family! This was a very different book and I began to get irritated with them all. Very well written though. I could just imagine the messy house and brillent but odd bod family members.
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book does have potential. Some of it was very well written. Unfortunately I just got so bored, and by about page 200 gave up. I didn't care what happened to the characters, hopefully most of them die.
Apr 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
A pretty grim story with not much to redeem it. Also, it was poorly edited, which drove me nuts at times.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: failures
There is nothing interesting or likeable about these middle class British alcoholics, nor does the writing have any flair. I gave up after chapter 4.
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
In this book, the children in Woodward's August have grown up. Aldous and Colette's brilliant, piano virtuoso son is a raging alcoholic, whose mind games and destructive bent make for never a dull moment in the Woodward household. Colette's brother drowns the sorrows of his new widowhood in drink. And Colette herself rather likes to while away the hours at the pub. The lady can put away a pint or two.

I wouldn't want to live any of it, but it was an instructive read. Includes some whiffs of co
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is hilarious and it is tragic. It is the second book in the trilogy of the Jones family and it is the best one so far. It takes place in 1970 in northern London. The family is trying to deal with the oldest son Janus who is a violent drunk. But he is not the only member of the family dealing with alcoholism. Even while you are laughing you are also feeling so sorry for these people and how alcohol is destroying them.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll Go To Bed At Noon is a well crafted book there is no doubt in that, if you are looking for an easy to read novel this probably won't suit you, it can be difficult in patches and I feel that it finished a little too quickly.
However if you are looking to gain a sense of nostalgia for 70/80's Britain and the people that inhabited that period this a beautiful book to read.

I probably won't re-read.
Celia Latty-steele
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Can I please get my last few weeks back while I battled through this one
Tish Oates
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I stoped caring about the characters.
Marguerite Kaye
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One caveat as I write this, if you haven't read the first book of this trilogy (August) then it won't spoil your enjoyment, but you will get a lot more out of I'll Go to Bed at Noon if you have.

Okay then, second book in the trilogy, and another re-read for me. I enjoyed the first so much I was worried - but I needn't have. This is a very different beast mind you. All the issues that were bubbling below the surface come to the fore now. We have full-blown addiction and it's not pretty - though i
Kathy Ahn
Mar 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Sad little story about a bunch of alcoholics before alcoholism was a commonly known disease. I didn't like any of the characters: none of them were compelling or sympathetic protagonists. You sort of hope for the best for both Januses but don't care that they end up the way they do. In fact, it seems fitting that most of them end up the way you might expect them to.

The writing wasn't especially beautiful, but it kept me engaged until the very end -- an impressive feat considering I didn't care a
Oct 31, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Muthukumaran Ramalingam
I could not pass anywhere beyond the 50-page limit. The author or the editor should have bothered to draw a family tree. Names, relationships and genders are so confusing that at one point, you start guessing the character's identity. And a same name shared by two characters, added to this confusion. The events unfold for nothing and end up as loose ends at each chapter. Drab and one of the most boring-ever reading experiences I have ever had. Obviously, I did not read this book, but gave it a 3 ...more
Jul 16, 2016 marked it as to-read
* 1000 novels everyone must read: the definitive list: Family and Self

Selected by the Guardian's Review team and a panel of expert judges, this list includes only novels – no memoirs, no short stories, no long poems – from any decade and in any language. Originally published in thematic supplements – love, crime, comedy, family and self, state of the nation, science fiction and fantasy, war and travel – they appear here for the first time.
Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
If you've ever wondered why family members don't tough-love their destructive kids, it is shown admirably in this book. It's kind of a hard read about a family's decline due to alcoholism in various members but compelling characters keep you reading. We follow the Jones' family in London as the youngest son is left behind as the family is distracted mostly by oldest son Janus. This is a continuation of "August" by the same author.
Jan 27, 2015 added it
Interesting book - totally dysfunctional family - across and down the generations. Alcoholism and addiction abound. Mental illness too I think - but hard to tell whether someone's behaviour is due solely to alcoholism or what. I'm not sure I actually liked any of the characters - but was interested in them and wanted to see what would happen. Definitely worth a read.
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  • The Three Sisters
  • Becoming Strangers
  • Bitter Fruit
  • Sour Sweet
  • The Sound of My Voice
  • The Essence of the Thing
  • The Island Walkers
  • Manservant and Maidservant
  • Consolation
  • The Shrimp and the Anemone
  • Fortunes of Richard Mahony
  • The Three Paradoxes
  • The Chateau
  • The Ordeal of Richard Feverel
  • A Legacy
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Gerard Woodward (born 1961) is a British novelist, poet and short story writer, best known for his trilogy of novels concerning the troubled Jones family, the second of which, I'll Go To Bed at Noon, was shortlisted for the 2004 Man-Booker Prize.[1] He was born in London and briefly studied painting at Falmouth School of Art in Cornwall. He later attended the London School of Economics, where he s ...more
More about Gerard Woodward...

Other Books in the Series

The Jones Trilogy (3 books)
  • August
  • A Curious Earth