Book Review: A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks

A Week in December by Sebastian FaulksThis 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.

Rating: 3.5/5

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


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

16 Responses to Book Review: A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks

  1. I like the sound of this. I have Birdsong by the same author but haven’t read it yet.

  2. I was curious about this one and thought about ordering it, but now I may wait to see if the library has it. Happy Holidays Judith.

  3. JoV says:

    I don’t think I am going to read this if you say it is ok. I have Birdsong with me, will decide if I like it enough to read his other books! Happy Holidays Judith, may the new year surpass this and be glorious. 😀

  4. Trisha says:

    I like the portrayal of a bunch of people who don’t make anything; that idea of money-pushers, non-producers, and the such not is one that has fascinated me for some time. But I’m not sure if that’s enough to get me to pick this one up.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Ok is about what I thought of this one as well. I actually liked the potential terrorist better than the hedge fund manager.

  6. I like the premise, but “boring” doesn’t exactly recommend it to me. 🙂 I think I’ll pass on this one, but that for the review!

  7. Sandra says:

    I really enjoyed Birdsong and have acquired a copy of Human Traces which I’m looking forward to reading. But yours is the second blogger review (of those I trust) to pronounce A Week in December “boring”. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll try his other works instead.

  8. Mystica says:

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas from down under.

  9. Esme says:

    Merry Christmas.

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