Book - 2012
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Pepys Road: an ordinary street in the capital. Today, through each letterbox along this ordinary street drops a card with a simple message: We Want What You Have. At forty, Roger Yount is blessed with an expensively groomed wife, two small sons and a powerful job in the city. Freddy Kano, teenage football sensation, has left a two-room shack in Senegal to follow his dream. Traffic warden Quentina has exchanged the violence of the police in Zimbabwe for the violence of the enraged middle classes. Elsewhere in the Capital, Zbigniew has come from Warsaw to indulge the super-rich in their interior decoration whims. This story follows the lives and fortunes of a group of people in London that become connected in unforseen ways. .U305. 2012Spr
Publisher: Tornoto : McClelland & Stewart, c2012.
ISBN: 9780771046711
Branch Call Number: FIC Lanch
Characteristics: 527 pages ; 24 cm.


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Apr 18, 2019

I saw it as a DVD and thought it was brilliant - lots of actors enjoy. I maybe I should try reading it.

Mar 16, 2019

A completely satisfying big novel. What Dickens would have written if he were alive now and looking at London around 2008.

Mar 26, 2018

the dvd movie is also enjoyable

Jun 27, 2016

This is a book about what happens when a neighbourhood becomes chic and sought-after. The residents are old, young, rich, poor, immigrants, good English stock, and all with one thing in common - they all receive postcards with photos of their front doors and the message "I want what you have". Each responds in their own way. Mystery this might be, but the main story is the lives of the residents and their quest to be happy. I enjoyed the flow of the writing in this book; the transition from one character to another kept me reading; and I found the stories sad, funny, hopeful by turns. I became invested and laughed when they did, and cheered when things turned out all right. Maybe not the definitive work on finances and real estate but certainly a good read.

choppy character development and choppy story line. While the ideas and setting are interesting, characters had no depth and when it all ended I was just glad to shut the book and move on.

Nov 28, 2014

Lanchester presents the viewpoints of a myriad of characters during the UK 2007/08 economic crises who are all connected by living or working on a street in London, whose homes were built originally for the lower middle class and now gentrified to the level of the million + pound market. These many viewpoints are almost completely isolated from each other. The book is often funny, but far too long.

ManUtdFan Jul 15, 2013

I am a Londonder and I loved it. Excellent read - high recommend it.

Mar 14, 2013

Maybe you have to be a Londoner, but I found the characters contrived and not very believable.

Jan 09, 2013

Worth reading as John Lanchester is a great story teller. However in this particular novel the climax was very subdued and i found the ending did not justify the in depth characterizations. Enjoyable bit not great.

ChristchurchLib Nov 29, 2012

State of the nation novels are in vogue these days and some are better than others. This is a good one and Britain as it is today is skilfully evoked through the story of a street in London and the people who live in it. Immigration, ethnic differences, the world of the rich, people living beyond their means and people struggling to understand the present and – unlike so many of these cast of characters novels – very convincing in its varied characterisations and never burying itself in detail.

Best reads of 2012: Philip Tew, Selection and Access Librarian, shares his top novels of 2012.

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