A Week in December, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (15 ratings)

Description

THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER London, the week before Christmas, 2007.

Seven wintry days to track the lives of seven characters: a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career; a professional footballer recently arrived from Poland; a young lawyer with little work and too much time to speculate; a student who has been led astray by Islamist theory; a hack book-reviewer; a schoolboy hooked on skunk and reality TV; and a Tube driver whose Circle Line train joins these and countless other lives together in a daily loop.

With daring skill, the novel pieces together the complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life, and the group is forced, one by one, to confront the true nature of the world they inhabit.

Sweeping, satirical, Dickensian in scope, A Week in December is a thrilling state of the nation novel from a master of literary fiction.

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Showing 1 - 5 of 15 reviews.

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Review by
2

Not one of Sebatian Faulks's best novels. Written to give the events of a number of individuals linked together by a very weak plot around a dinner party, the narrative at times is difficult to follow and confusing in the manner in which the various stories are told. The ending is particularly weak, in my view.

Review by
4

A excellent and clever inter-twining of lives. Each character was engaging and believeable, though not always likeable. The suspense towards the end was built and promised an explosive climax. I found myself feeling sorry for the charachters and what would be their tragic fate, but when I got to the end I'm quite ashamed to say that I felt disappointed with the way the story fizzled out. Having said that it was a poignant reminder of fragile life is and your life can be influenced by the simple thoughts, beliefs and actions of another human being totally unrelated to you or your life.

Review by
3

Complicated and difficult to get into, but clever weaving of lots of characters

Review by
3.5

"Gabriel rested his teacup on a ziggurat of his head of chambers' upcoming briefs and looked out of the window, down towards the river. Swollen with December rain, it was gliding on beneath the lights of the Embankment..."From the blurb: London, the week before Christmas, 2007. Seven wintry days to track the lives of seven characters: a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career; a professional footballer recently arrived from Poland; a young lawyer with little work and too much time to speculate; a student who has been led astry by Islamist theory; a hack book-reviewer; a schoolboy hooked on skunk and reality TV; and a Tube driver whose Circle Line train joins these and countless other lives together in a daily loop. With daring skill, the novel pieces together the complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life, and the group is forced, one by one, to confront the true nature of the world they inhabit.The characters in this are a real mix (as I imagine they are supposed to be). The younger characters (Gabriel and Jenny) are the much more sympathetic ones, just getting on with their lives as best they can while still being just generally nice people. John Veals is a piece of work - clever to make someone so inhuman and remorseless. The examination of Hassan's life, obsession with Islamic theory, and conflict between his modern London life and what he has been taught was interesting and sensitive. The other characters I had forgotten until I read the blurb, but I don't remember deliberately skipping through any sections of this book until it hit another character. Faulks does well to keep them all appropriately separated.So this is the first of Sebastian Faulks' books that I've read - even though I have both Birdsong and Charlotte Grey on the shelves. Sometimes it got a bit fanciful and obtuse, but on the whole, eminently readable while obviously skilful. Plotwise this is so-so; it's really a character study, I think. There is a certain tension added by John and Hassan's deeds, and various glimmers of romance here and there, but it's only really there to give the characters something to do.And as for the setting: this is so very London. And not just very London, but not tourist London, real, people-who-live-here-and-commute-to-work-here London. The far-flung suburbs with their spectrum of class, the postcode giveaway of household earnings. And it's London December too - no particularly exciting weather, but grey and cold and a bit dreary but nearly Christmas so people are quite cheery and pubs are overflowing.Good, but I'm not sure I'll re-read it.

Review by
2

I found this a very readable book with the characters of the hedge-fund manager and the would be Islamic terrorist the best drawn but there were too many main characters in the book which meant that some were not as well-defined as they should have been to occupy the place that they did. I found them stereo-typical without anything different or interesting about them which ultimately made the book just not very interesting.Some of Faulks' books have been hard going but this wasn't. If it had more depth and a less linear plot it could have been good.

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