Ordnance

Ordnance
Stokes Mortar - one of the simplest inventions

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

The House of Sleep

Jonathan Coe's 1997 book is described by The Times as 'hilarious and devastating'. There are two very funny passages and the central plot, which never feels quite central is grim. The first funny bit is for us writers and is a delicious encounter between a commercial film director and a literary writer.

The story largely hangs on the symptoms displayed by people with sleep disorders and from time to time approaches farce. For me the heart of the book surrounds the relationships between a small group of students who were at university together and who later encounter each other (it is not a Peter's Friends!). This part is written sensitively and make the read worthwhile.
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