Wednesday, 18 October 2017


This is a doom-laden little book.  From the first page, you know things will go wrong: and not in a good way; not in a the-evil-will-be-punish'd kind of way.  It's more in a modern, literary kind of way, that is: life is unfair and we are all incapable of making change in ourselves or in the world.  Utterly unsurprisingly, this book was shortlisted for the Booker.  The Booker loves to reward novels with this kind of message. 

I can't deny it is well and tautly written.  It draws you horribly into the tale of a deeply pathetic attempt to organise an outing at a Factory.  The outing is organised by a girl named Freda, and as she is the only hopeful or impactful character in the piece naturally Bainbridge ensures she is punished by the narrative.  She dies on the outing, and of course not through any actual choice, but just in a stupid accident.  Then the other workers are afraid this will get them into trouble, so they cover up the death.  And that's it.  God I loathed this book.


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LUCKY JIM by Kingsley Amis

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