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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.  

Unforgettably funny and painfully honest, Jonathan Coe's tale of Benjamin Trotter and his friends' coming of age during the 1970s is a heartfelt celebration of the joys and agonies of growing up.    

Featuring, among other things, IRA bombs, prog rock, punk rock, bad poetry, first love, love on the side, prefects, detention, a few bottles of Blue Nun, lots of brown wallpaper, industrial strife, and divine intervention in the form of a pair of swimming trunks.    

Set against the backdrop of the decade's class struggles, tragic and riotous by turns, packed with thwarted romance and furtive sex, The Rotters' Club is for anyone who ever experienced adolescence the hard way.

©2019 Jonathan Coe (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

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What listeners say about The Rotters' Club

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Uncomfortable to listen to

Couldn't finish this - and I really did try. For me, it's a sort of very poor version of Adrian Mole with a lot of uncomfortable scenes. I did recognise and "get" the 1970's slant, but not with a sense of nostalgia - just a lot of embarrassing references which are best left back where they belong. I was looking forward to reading this as it was reviewed as a humourous coming of age novel, but was very disappointed. Not one for me.

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brilliant book

superb characterisation and beautifully drawn plot that cleverly whisks you back to the 1970s in all that decade's excitement, squalor and hubris. a book that made me laugh out loud at some points and come close to tears at others.

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Well observed

A well observed and poignant reflection on the seventies from the viewpoint of several young protagonists.

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Wonderful book

If you grew up in the UK in the 1970s this well-narrated book sums up that decade in all its pain and glory. If you didn’t, it’s a great story about love, loss, growing up and the politics that put us on the path to where we are today.

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A good romp, but...

I enjoyed this book overall, there were some terrific laugh out loud moments, plus some poignant ones. I think it was too long and some chapters just seemed to ramble uncontrollably and tediously (I realise this was part of the characterisation in some instances!) but it needed some severe editing. Enjoyable though and I will try some further Jonathan Coe novels.

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Superb from start to finish

A brilliant set of tales from people growing up in the 1970s. Full of emotion, humour and tragedy, this is a book that will live with you for years.

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  • Ella
  • 29-12-19

Clever and engaging

A great set of stories, woven together in unexpected but still somehow casual ways. Great characters and an excellent performance by Nicholas Burns.