The Rotter’s Club- Johnathan Coe

The Rotter's Club

Image by Mags via Flickr

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Jonathan Coe’s widely acclaimed novel is set in the 1970s against a distant backdrop of strikes, terrorist attacks and growing racial tension. A group of young friends inherit the editorship of their school magazine and begin to put their own distinctive spin onto events in the wider world. A zestful comedy of personal and social upheaval, The Rotters’ Club captures a fateful moment in British politics – the collapse of ‘Old Labour’ – and imagines its impact on the topsy-turvy world of the bemused teenager: a world in which a lost pair of swimming trunks can be just as devastating as an IRA bomb.


I remember seeing the TV serialisation of this a few years ago, and while I only really remember Lois I do remember that it was good. I think this actually made the book a little less enjoyable for me- it felt a little slow at times- however I did still enjoy it. Part of what I enjoyed is that I could recognise the places mentioned and knew some of the history of Birmingham discussed in the book. However in a way this made things not so good [Highlight for spoiler]I knew that there was a bomb at The Tavern in the Town, so the actual bomb may have had less of an impact on me. It is well known history though, so I am sure Coe anticipated this. Another thing I really liked was that I felt I got to know the characters. Cicely I didn’t like, although she grew on me a little, and I came to kind of understand her. [Highlight for spoiler]When it came down to it, even though I still wanted Ben to end up with Claire, I wanted them to work out, but considering Sam’s other prediction proved to be false, I think it foreshadowed they would fail. I liked Ben. But most of all I liked Lois, she made me laugh and she seemed very intelligent- although first views of her didn’t really reflect this. I just wish we had heard more from her.



Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Historical

5 responses to “The Rotter’s Club- Johnathan Coe

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