/ 'A Week In December' - Sebastain Faulkes

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Fraser on 28 Jan 2013
I'm now half way through this and must say I'm finding it really ponderous. So far, none of the characters is very engaging, with the possible exception of Jenny the tube driver, and I've yet to stumble upon the 'plot'. The strongest impression I have is Faulks's use of the novel as a way to vicariously express his own prejudices. I've rarely stopped reading a book before the end but in this case I'm very tempted!

Does it improve?
ThunderCat - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:

It wasn't one of my favourites SF books.
Mike Highbury - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:
> Does it improve?

Only when he calls bankers a bunch of cnuts. And that's it, I'm afraid.
James Malloch - on 28 Jan 2013
I'm planning to start it soon. I read his book, Engleby, and found that a bit dull. It could well be his style of writing as I found the story good but the way it was written didn't engage me at all...
Fraser on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to James Malloch:

I heard that on R4 as a Book at Bedtime number a few years ago and thought it was very good. However, the reader was Julian Rhind Tutt who could make the phone book sound captivating. Incidentally, he's just finished doing another BAB, "The Knot" by Mark Watson, which was also very impressive.
Robert Durran - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:

Probably his weakest book in my opinion. He introduces various interesting characters but then more or less ignores half of them and the book kind of fizzles out as if he got bored of writing it.

Have you read the brilliant Engleby? Undoubtedly his perfectly crafted masterpiece, lacking any of the flaws of his other books. A Fool's Alphabet is also superb, but being pre-Birdsong, hardly anyone seems to have read it and it is often absent from bookshops.
Robert Durran - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:

> Does it improve?

No.

Robert Durran - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:

Oh, and whatever you do, don't read Human Traces. It's dreadful and as long as all his other books put together.
ThunderCat - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

I thought Birdsong was nice.
Robert Durran - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to ThunderCat:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> I thought Birdsong was nice.

Excellent in parts, but over melodramatic in others.

trivett - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:

Listened to it as an audiobook, seem to remember getting to the end of it and thinking I'd lost the last CD... Didn't seem to have any kind of climatic ending.

Thought his Bond book Devil May Care was good though.
Fraser on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to trivett & others:

Hmmm, I'm getting the definite between-the-lines feel here for abandoning ship!

The only other book of his I've read was 'Metroland' which I enjoyed. This was a random charity-shop purchase so no great hardship to accidentally drop it back in there as I'm passing. Got a couple of alternative reads to move straight onto and I'm confident they'll be better.

Cheers for the comments one and all.
spidermonkey09 - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser: Just for balance, I really liked a week in december, its very different but good I thought. I also liked human traces- takes some getting into but worthwhile at the end.
kevin stephens - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:
"A week in December" was entertaining light relief after "Human Traces"
rj_townsend on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser: No, it doesn't improve...

They are hours of your life that you will never get back.
Robert Durran - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to kevin stephens:
> (In reply to Fraser)
> "A week in December" was entertaining light relief after "Human Traces".

Yes. I suspect that, having done so much research into psychiatry for Human Traces, Faulks probably realised he had written a dismal and rambling apology for a novel, so decided he might as well put it to better use and so wrote the fantastic Engleby.

Hooo - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Fraser:
I thought it was brilliant. Loved the characters. I'd read nothing of his, was given the book and so read it with no expectations. I must read more of him.
Although, if you don't like it yet, you probably never will.

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