The Rotters' Club

Publisher: Penguin

Review

Jonathan Coe's warm and heartening look back at the 1970s and its fashions and tastes is a zesty comedy full of acute observations about growing up and being an awkward teenager at school.

It chronicles the growing pains of four Brummie schoolboys- Philip, Sean, Doug and Benjamin- who must not only come to terms with the normal pangs of adolescence but with terrible knitwear, ludicrous pop-music, nightmarish food and insidious racism, all set against the awful, surreal and tragicomic reality of a post-imperial nation.

The wry writing showcases a wonderfully funny novel brimming with personal and social upheaval, The Rotters' Club captures a fateful moment in British politics - the collapse of 'Old Labour' - and imagines its impact on the topsy-turvy world of the bemused teenager: a world in which a lost pair of swimming trunks can be just as devastating as an IRA bomb.

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