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Birmingham, England, c. 1973: industrial strikes, bad pop music, corrosive class warfare, adolescent angst, IRA bombings. Four friends: a class clown who stoops very low for a laugh; a confused artist enthralled by guitar rock; an earnest radical with socialist leanings; and a quiet dreamer obsessed with poetry, God, and the prettiest girl in school. As the world appears to self-destruct around them, they hold together to navigate the choppy waters of a decidedly ambiguous decade.
“Reflective and compelling, satirical and tender, wildly imaginative and painstakingly realistic.” —Chris Lehmann, The Washington Post Book World
“Funny and astute... The strength of The Rotters’ Club lies in its comic humanity.” —Stephen Amidon, The Atlantic Monthly
“Its tinder-dry combustion of comic, indignant and elegiac suggests an Evelyn Waugh of the left.” —Richard Eder, The New York Times Book Review
“A thrillingly traitorous work. It hums along for a hundred pages of wise comedy about teenage love’s mortifications, then cold cocks us with an honest surprise as cruel as it is earned.” —David Kipen, San Francisco Chronicle
“The novel’s many intricate parts manage to mesh and turn with the startling harmony you find in Robert Altman’s movies.” —Todd Pruzan, The Village Voice
“Coe handles his complex approach to a complex era effortlessly, and the end product is a compulsive and gripping read.” —Paul Connolly, The Times
“At once uproariously entertaining and deadly serious–a comedy of manners and mores, but also a conscientious and politically charged reminder of an age quite easily forgotten, yet not far removed from our own.” —Henry Hitchings, Times Literary Supplement