Susan's Reviews > The Rotters' Club

The Rotters' Club by Jonathan Coe
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's review
Mar 26, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2010read
Read from August 11 to 19, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Okay, so maybe I'm being a little tough on this book, but The House of Sleep is my favorite novel of all time, and this was a disappointment in comparison. At first, I assumed this was an earlier work, but it's unfortunately not. There are still a lot of things to admire about the novel; as always I appreciate any attempts to experiment with narrative form. However, the whole thing felt a little unorganized and was not very cohesive. The passage of time was quick which made the pacing interesting but frustrating as well. I really wanted to find out what happened to Miriam but of course this was never answered. Also, from the beginning I was rooting for Benjamin and Claire to get together and they never did. The future tidbits that bookended the whole story seemed cumbersome and unnecessary. It wasn't until the last section "Green Coaster" (loved that title) was written entirely in one sentence that I realized the Ulysses parallel, and at that point mentioning Ulysses by name seemed to be overkill.

I own the sequel but haven't read it yet. Maybe it'll change my mind about this novel and I will change my rating if that is the case. I did flip through the first section and saw mentions of Miriam. As it is, I really enjoyed this book in pieces, just not the way it was presented. I also think my ignorance of the time and setting (1970s England) prevented me from appreciating it.

Grade: B-

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