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The Rotters' Club.

Coe, Jonathan.

ISBN 10: 0670892521 / ISBN 13: 9780670892525
Published by Penguin Group, London, 2001
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Ad Infinitum Books (Mount Vernon, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

406 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Very good condition. FICTION. A zestful comedy of schoolchildren in crisis and adults in trauma, a novel in which the personal and the political intersect suddenly and without warning; a memoir of a long-lost era which shows that racism and class warfare could be just as rife in a scool common room as on a car manufacturer's shop floor. (Key Words: Jonathan Coe, Humor, Fiction). Bookseller Inventory # 51692X1

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Rotters' Club.

Publisher: Penguin Group, London

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First Edition (Unstated)..

Book Type: book

About this title


Jonathan Coe's new novel is set in the 1970s, but this is more than just the decade of flares and glam rock. 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 on to 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.


At a time when people are looking back on the 1970s with nostalgia, Jonathan What a Carve Up Coe's The Rotters' Club is a timely reminder of quite how ghastly that benighted decade was in Britain. Set in the "industrial" heartland of the West Midlands, it chronicles the growing pains of four Brummie schoolboys--Philip, Sean, Doug and Benjamin--who must not only come to terms with the normal pangs of adolescence but with terrible knitwear, ludicrous pop-music, nightmarish food and insidious racism, all set against the awful, surreal and tragicomic reality of a post-imperial nation.

The book suffers in its programmatic attempts to make the four boys and their families symbolise, or represent, Something Important To Do With British Life. Doug, for instance, symbolises Industrial Decline, via his dad, a shop steward at the doomed British Leyland Longbridge plant. For Sean its Sexual Liberation--at least he's the one that looks most likely to get his rocks off. And young Ben Trotter would appear to represent A Young Jonathan Coe. But if this aspect of the novel seems contrived, then the author's capricious, deft, wryly comedic and touchingly empathetic style keeps things chugging along, as he knits together the troubles and tragedies of some fairly ordinary people living through fairly extraordinary years. --Sean Thomas

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