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Books

A novel view of Brexit: Middle England, by Jonathan Coe, reviewed

3 November 2018

9:00 AM

3 November 2018

9:00 AM

Jonathan Coe writes compelling, humane and funny novels, but you sometimes suspect he wants to write more audacious ones. He has a long-standing interest in formally experimental writers — Flann O’Brien and B. S. Johnson are heroes — but it’s an interest that has never really become full-blown influence. Though The Rotter’s Club (2001) — our first introduction to some of the characters who populate Middle England — contains a 13,000-word-long sentence and a wonderfully complicated scene in which a husband and wife have a misdirected conversation (he completing a crossword; she reading a love letter from one of her...

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