Book Review: A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks
December 24, 2011 16 Comments
This book covers, as it says on the cover, a whole week in December in London. It follows a number of people that are invited to a dinner party later that week (on the last day of the week). The people are all very different, there is a professional soccer player, a hedge fund manager, a book critic, a lawyer, a chutney manufacturer, and several others.
Some of the book was quite interesting, such as the story of the soccer player and his girlfriend, or that of the book critic, or the lawyer, but the story of the hedge fund manager was boring beyond belief. There was way too much about the financial world and how he planned to make billions by letting a bank go down to near collapse.
What I did like is how the author showed that most people present at the dinner party dealt with lots of money, but actually didn’t make (manufacture, produce) anything (except for the chutney millionaire), they just moved the money around. This book clearly showed how fraudulent the financial world is by making money out of money that doesn’t actually exist. That was well done, but the background was not very interesting.
There was also the story of the son of the chutney manufacturer who had become very religious and was in the process of preparing a terrorist attack. Another son of a rich couple was so neglected that his parents didn’t even know where he was and what he was doing most of the time, and so he could use drugs in his bedroom and get very sick with it.
The story of the laywer, Northwood and his underground metro driver client Jenni, was the sweetest and the one I liked to read about most. They were attracted to each other but nothing could happen between them while they were in a professional relationship. So, they arranged evenings at each other’s house “to discuss the case”, which they of course never even mentioned.
The story of the book critic who didn’t like any contemporary books and only wrote negative reviews was very entertaining. He hoped to win a prize with his biography of an unknown Victorian writer.
There were lots of coincidences, people that met (or nearly met) each other, the book critic tutoring the chutney man, the teenage son ending up in the same (part of the) hospital where the brother of the lawyer was a resident, etc.
This book was funny, boring, entertaining and it made me think. I thought of giving up a few times, but read to the end. It was OK.
I got this book: bought it in a book store
I read this in: English, the original language
Number of pages: 392
First published: 2009
Genre: contemporary fiction