Jonathan Coe Books & Bio. Cheap Books by Jonathan Coe. Book People

Books by Jonathan Coe

  • ASOKK
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    A novel about the hundreds of tiny connections between the public and private worlds and how they affect us all. It's about the legacy of war and the end of innocence. It's about how comedy and politics are battling it out and comedy might have won. It's about how 140 characters can make fools of us all. It's about living in a city where bankers need cinemas in their basements and others need food banks down the street. It is Jonathan Coe doing what he does best -- showing us how we live now. "Coe is among the handful of novelists who can tell us something about the temper of our times". (Observer).
  • BSWOY
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    This witty and incisive state-of-the-nation novel is written by the bestselling author of What a Carve Up! and The House of Sleep, Jonathan Coe.

    Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change.

    There are newlyweds Ian and Sophie who disagree about the future of the country; Doug, the political commentator who writes impassioned columns about austerity from his Chelsea townhouse; Benjamin, who embarks on an apparently doomed new career in the middle age, and his father Colin whose last wish is to vote in the European referendum.

    And within all these lives is the story of modern England: a story of nostalgia and delusion; of bewilderment and barely-suppressed rage.
  • AKFJZ
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    This is a brilliant noir farce, a dystopian vision and the story of an obsession. Michael is a lonely, rather pathetic writer, obsessed by the film, 'What A Carve Up!' in which a mad knifeman cuts his way through the inhabitants of a decrepit stately pile as the thunder rages. Inexplicably, Michael is commissioned to write the family history of the Winshaws, an upper class Yorkshire clan whose members have a finger in every establishment pie. But as a murderous maniac stalks the family, Michael realizes that his favourite film is coming true.
  • AKFKB
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    On Millennium night, with Blair presiding over a superficially cool, sexed-up new version of the country, Benjamin Trotter finds himself watching the celebrations on his parents' TV. Watching, in fact, his younger brother, Paul, now a bright young New Labour MP who has bought wholeheartedly into the Blairite dream. Neither of them can know that their lives are about to implode. Set against the backdrop of a changing Britain and the country's increasingly compromised role in America's 'war against terrorism', the characters struggle to make sense of the perennial problems of love, vocation and family.
  • AKFJX
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    Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe - Spies, girls and an Englishman abroad. Trust no one. London, 1958: unassuming civil servant Thomas Foley is plucked from his desk job and sent on a six-month trip to Brussels. His task: to keep an eye on The Britannia, a brand new pub which will form the heart of the British presence at Expo 58 - the biggest World's Fair of the century. As soon as he arrives, Thomas is equally bewitched by the surreal, gigantic Atomium, which stands at the heart of this brave new world, and by Anneke, a lovely Flemish hostess. But Thomas' new-found sense of freedom comes at a price: two British spies are following him. For fans of Jonathan Coe's classic comic bestsellers What a Carve Up! and The Rotters' Club, this hilarious new novel, which is set in the Mad Men period of the mid 50s, will also be loved by readers of Nick Hornby, William Boyd and Ian McEwan. "Clever and funny, enthralling and moving. Wonderful!" (Daily Mail). "Rich and splendidly comic". (Independent). Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham in 1961. Expo 58 is his tenth novel. The previous nine are all available in Penguin: The Accidental Woman, A Touch of Love, The Dwarves of Death, What a Carve Up! (which won the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), The House of Sleep (which won the 1998 Prix Medicis Etranger), The Rotters' Club (winner of the Everyman Wodehouse Prize), The Closed Circle, The Rain Before It Falls and The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim. His biography of the novelist B.S. Johnson, Like a Fiery Elephant, won the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for best non-fiction book of the year.
  • AUOHG
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    The hilarious 1980s political satire by Jonathan Coe, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. It is the 1980s and the Winshaw family are getting richer and crueller by the year: Newspaper-columnist Hilary gets thousands for telling it like it isn't; Henry's turning hospitals into car parks; Roddy's selling art in return for sex; down on the farm Dorothy's squeezing every last pound from her livestock; Thomas is making a killing on the stock exchange; and Mark is selling arms to dictators. But once their hapless biographer Michael Owen starts investigating the family's trail of greed, corruption and immoral doings, the time growing ripe for the Winshaws to receive their comeuppance...This wickedly funny take on life under the Thatcher government was the winner of the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 'A sustained feat of humour, suspense and polemic, full of twists and ironies' Hilary Mantel, Sunday Times 'A riveting social satire on the chattering and all-powerful upper classes' Time Out 'Big, hilarious, intricate, furious, moving' Guardian
  • AKFJI
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    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.
  • AKFKA
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    Sarah is a narcoleptic who has dreams so vivid she mistakes them for real events; Robert has had his life changed for ever by the misunderstandings arising from her condition; Terry, the insomniac, spends his wakeful nights fuelling his obsession with movies; and the increasingly unstable Dr Gregory Dudden sees sleep as a life-shortening disease which must be eradicated. A group of students sharing a house. They fall in and out of love, they drift apart. Yet a decade later they are drawn back together by a series of coincidences involving their obsession with sleep - and each other...
  • AKFJK
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    Robin, a postgrad student in Coventry, has spent four and a half years not writing his thesis. Now it languishes in a drawer, and Robin hides in his room, increasingly frightened by a world he doesn't understand. His friends have failed him and romance eludes him. His only outlet is his short stories, scribbled in notebooks and expressing his secret obsessions and frustrations. Then, when an unfortunate and embarassing incident in a public park lands him in serious trouble, Robin's life finally spirals out of control...
  • AKFJY
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    'What I want you to have, Imogen, above all, is a sense of your own history; a sense of where you come from, and of the forces that made you.' Rosamund lies dying in her remote Shropshire home. But before she does so, she has one last task: to put on tape not just her own story but the story of the young blind girl, her cousin's granddaughter, who turned up mysteriously at her party all those years ago. This is a story of generations, of the relationships within a family - and of what goes to make a child.
  • AKFKI
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    Music, murder ...and Madeleine. William has a lot on his mind. Firstly there's The Alaska Factory, the band he plays in. They're no good and they make his songs sound about as groovy as an unpressed record. Secondly, there's Madeleine, his high-maintenance girlfriend whose idea of a night of passion is an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical followed by a doorstep peck on the cheek. Maybe they're not soulmates after all? Lastly, there's the bizarre murder he's just witnessed. A man lies bludgeoned to death at his feet and, unfortunately for William, there aren't too many other suspects standing nearby...
  • AKFJJ
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    For Maria, nothing is certain. Her life is a chain of accidents. Friendship passes her by, and she's unimpressed by the devoted Ronny and his endless proposals of marriage. Maria lives in a world of her own - yet not of her own making. Stumbling through university, work, marriage and motherhood, she finds it hard to see what all the fuss is about. Will she ever be able to control the direction of her life? Or will it end, as it began, by accident? What does chance have in store for the accidental woman?
  • AKFKJ
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    Maxwell Sim seems to have hit rock bottom: separated from his wife and daughter, estranged from his father, and with no one to confide in even though he has 74 friends on Facebook. He's not even sure whether he's got a job until suddenly a strange business proposition comes his way which involves a long journey to the Shetland Isles - and a voyage into his family's past which throws up some surprising revelations. A story for our times, Maxwell finds himself at sea in the modern world, surrounded by social networks but unable to relate properly to anyone.
  • BSZPU
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    "For the first time in his life, Gulliver felt ashamed of himself and his fellow-humans." Gulliver is a travel-hungry and adventurous ship's doctor, who has the odd misfortune of being shipwrecked four times in as many voyages. Through Jonathan Coe's expert retelling of Swift's famous satire about our human hubris and desires, today's young readers are swept along as Gulliver finds himself a giant among tiny humans in Lilliput; a tiny human among giants in Brobdignag; on the flying island of Laputa, with its most impractical intellectuals; and finally in the land of the Houyhnhnms, talking horses who think precious little of human "Yahoos".
  • BXYFD
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    'Sometimes I feel that I am destined always to be offstage whenever the main action occurs. That God has made me the victim of some cosmic practical joke, by assigning me little more than a walk-on part in my own life . . .' Coming of age in 1970s' Birmingham, teenager Benjamin Trotter is about to discover the agonies and ecstasies of growing up. Whether it is first love or last rites, IRA bombs or industrial strife, prog versus punk rock, expectations of bad poetry or an unexpected life-changing experience involving lost swimming trunks, The Rotters' Club is a heartfelt and hilarious portrait of a particular time and place featuring characters recognisable the world over . . . 'Very funny, a compulsive and gripping read' The Times 'Hugely entertaining' The Observer 'A book to cherish, a book to reread, a book to buy for all your friends' Independent on Sunday
  • BYIAA
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    'THE BOOK EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT' THE TIMES 'It was tempting to think, at times like this, that some bizarre hysteria had gripped the British people' Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change. There are newlyweds Ian and Sophie, who disagree about the future of the country and, possibly, the future of their relationship; Doug, the political commentator who writes impassioned columns about austerity from his Chelsea townhouse, and his radical teenage daughter who will stop at nothing in her quest for social justice; Benjamin Trotter, who embarks on an apparently doomed new career in middle age, and his father Colin, whose last wish is to vote in the European referendum. And within all these lives is the story of modern England: a story of nostalgia and delusion; of bewilderment and barely-suppressed rage. Following in the footsteps of The Rotters' Club and The Closed Circle, Jonathan Coe's new novel is the novel for our strange new times. 'From post-industrial Birmingham to the London riots and the current political gridlock, [Middle England] takes in family, literature and love in a comedy for our times' Guardian 'Coe shows an understanding of this country that goes beyond what most cabinet ministers can muster . . . his light, funny writing makes you feel better' Evening Standard 'Middle England is a full-blooded state of the nation novel, and it brings us bang up-to-date' Sunday Times Coe is an extraordinarily deft plotter...the book zips along...he tackles big ambitious themes, in this case the effect of politics on people's lives, and political opinions on personal relations' Mail on Sunday 'Sublimely good. Funny, tender, human and intelligent ... the state of the (Brexit) nation novel to end them all. Jonathan Coe's best since What a Carve Up!' India Knight 'An astute, enlightened and enlightening journey into the heart of our current national identity crisis. Both moving and funny. As we'd expect from Coe' Ben Elton 'The first great Brexit novel' Sathnam Sanghera 'Let me add to the chorus of praise forJonathan Coe's new book Middle England. Easily my favourite of his since What a Carve Up!, which did for Thatcherism what Middle England does for Brexit' John Crace 'Brilliant. Read it too fast, finished it too soon' Nigella Lawson 'Coe's comic critique of a divided country dazzles . . . Properly laugh-out-loud funny . . . it is also incisive and brilliant about our divided country and the deep chasms revealed by the vote to leave. Do not miss' The Bookseller 'A copper bottomed masterpiece' Barney Norris