Apr 1, Guardian book club, week one: John Mullan on What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe. Apr 23, BOOK REVIEW / Clawing, brutish gargoyles: ‘What a Carve Up]’ – Jonathan Coe: Viking’ pounds – Anthony Quinn on a furiously political. Jonathan Coe writes: “After The Dwarves of Death I knew that it was time to write a more ambitious novel. For a while I toyed with a couple of ideas: there had.

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Purveyor of doe, right-wing, self-contradictory, lowest common-denominator opinion pieces. Creates a business empire of highly processed, slogan-promoted cheap meat-based foods.

It felt to me as if we were still living in the comforting embrace of the post-war consensus, whereas to adults, it was a very confrontational time. Until this point he believes he was invited to write the history by chance, but as events transpire he is more deeply related to the family than he realizes. Retrieved 24 November Home News Sport Business. Attended Oxford University in the s where he was a member of the Conservative Association under the presidency of a chemistry student named Margaret Roberts – who would later become prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Jonathan Coe: poking fun at broken Britain

Some of the connections between characters are so hwat coincidental that we hardly notice them. M ichael Owen, the narrator of alternate sections of What a Carve Up! Weightier than the three previous works combined, it is also much broader and more ambitious in scope. Like Fielding’s Tom Joneshe is destined to find out the true identity of his father. And Michael is indeed part of a plot.

The recognition is a symptom of his narrative self-consciousness. It is a sprawling work, carefully built up of often very amusing pieces that, put together, add up to an even greater whole. The novel concerns the political and social environment in Britain during the s, and covers the period up to the beginning of aerial bombardment against Iraq in the first Gulf War in January Centered around the Winshaw family, who show the absolute worst side of British society in their ruthless dealings as they find success, of sorts, Coe paints a sharp and cynical though often very funny portrait of post-War England.


Fiona — A neighbour of Michael who becomes a close friend.

What a Carve Up!

Mysteries are, in one sense, reassuring. She is eventually admitted to hospital, but because treatment was not administered soon enough, she dies shortly after New Year, The arrangement of his destiny should have been evident to him when he observed a coincidence that would be possible in life, but, occurring in such a carefully plotted novel, must have been designed. That title to which I was so attached proved to be a real headache for my overseas publishers, all the same.

At least not any more. Novelist Michael Owen is commissioned to write a biography of the clan, but he is less than successful. It occurred to me that I could take one such family and use them as a kind of metaphor for the British ruling elite, whether they were involved in politics, finance, food production, culture or any other area of national life.

Number 11 US ed.

A bit British, and a bit over the top on occasion, What a Carve Up! For narrative mysteries, unlike mysteries in life, have solutions. Falls ill but, owing to cutbacks to the Health Service, fails to get treatment before her condition is too advanced to treat, and dies from Lymphoma. If he buys some junk food, it has been manufactured by Dorothy Winshaw’s factory-farm jonatuan.


Thank you for your support. He is also lonely and sex-starved, prone to fantasise about attractive women he sees on public transport. They are a representative breed, whose members you keep meeting because they are responsible for most of the ills of British society. What a Carve Up! We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. His discoveries echo the plot twists of some classic English novels.

Buy this book Italy. It signifies that he knows that he is a character in a plot. The Winshaw Legacy – US.

Jonathan Coe – writer

If his local hospital is chaotic, it is because jonathann Henry Winshaw’s reorganisation. By contrast, Coe believes, true satire should vex its audience, which is presumably why Number 11 runs the defiant risk of annoying his own constituency. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

Robert McCrum called it “the finest English satire from the s – a memorable and explicit commentary on Thatcherism. Instrumental in policies to “reform” the National Health Service. I’m whaat of it. Retrieved from ” https: When his own publisher has his house burgled and acrve and photographs stolen, he is questioned by the publisher’s formidable deputy: