Thursday, 27 February 2014

Capital - John Lanchester

John Lanchester has attempted a forensic, fictional analysis of London and therefore Britain, because in the first decade of the 21st century London was the only part of Britain that counted, at the time of the great bank fraud collapse. It's a brave attempt but inevitably some bits work better than others. His Asian and Zimbabwean immigrants are more attractive than the Eastern Europeans. Amazingly his investment banker is the most appealing character of all. I loved the terrorism subplot, the quiet death of Petunia, and hated the conceptual art device. But that's the thing with a state of the nation novel, especially one this long. No one is going to like it all, it cannot maintain quality throughout, and much as I enjoyed it I cannot give it an unequivocal Must Read.

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