A Week in December takes place over the course of a single week. It brings together an intriguing cast of characters, each apparently in his or her own world but - as gradually becomes clear - intricately related.
As the story builds to its climax, Faulks pulls together powerful ideas about family, money, religion and the way we live today.
©2009 Sebastian Faulks (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
"Really gripping story"
I am really enjoying this audiobook. The story is fascinating - we are introduced to several seemingly unconnected characters - and gradually they all fit in to the narrative as it slowly unfolds. Faulks' writing is first rate - his description of how the hedge funds make their money is an education in itself. The great strength of this recording however is the sterling work done by the narrator - Colin Mace. He has to cope with a different voice for each character, and does so brilliantly. I strongly recommend this book.
I'm disappointed to be writing this review, I like Sebastian Faulks (or at least, I did) especially Birdsong and Engleby. But A Week in December is full of difficult to believe characters and pompous moralising, especially on the subject of state education, which Faulks, having being educated at a posh public schools seems to know very little about. Ditto, football. The passages involving the Polish centre forward training at his new premiership team are patronising and excruciating. After having recently read 'The Big Short', a much better book on the financial crash, then even the descriptions of the Hedge Fund manager and his machinations felt shallow and unconvincing.
"Not one of the author's best books"
I've read most of Sebastian Faulk's books and am impressed by his versatility across a range of genres. He has written some splendid and moving books, but "A Week in December" is not one of them. Despite an excellent reader, who helps the listener differentiate among the large number of characters, I was confused for the first few chapters as to who was whom as so many were introduced at the start of the book. The book is largely a dystopic commentary on modern urban life in Britain. There are over-long polemics about the genesis of the banking crisis and much about the rise of Islamic extremism. Through the voice of a character who is a writer and critic Faulks airs some of his criticisms of other writers, albeit disguised for those of us not in the know.
The book is made up of several stories running in parallel that hardly impinge on one another and so the expectation is that by the end some connections will be formed. My main disappointment is how the book ends.
"Sheer enjoyment from start to finish..."
I have increasingly become a big fan of Sebastian Faulks. This book is my favourite to date. The narrator is perfect and manages to sound different and convincingly so, for each character. Gabriel Northwood is the lone voice of sanity and common decency and gets my vote. Interesting thoughts on "purist" Islam with some excellent living-in-the-real-world balance from the also excellent Farooq. Buy it and enjoy it - almost a book for our time.
Deep and entertaining observation of numerous lives inter-twining in 21st Century London, dealing with the topics of the day such as financiers' greed at everyone else's expense, the positives and negatives of multi-culturalism, the disaffection of youth and their escape into extremism and drug abuse, as well as the juxtaposition of virtual and real lives. Interesting, thought provoking and entertaining.
This book was an interesting and often enjoyable book to listen to, although I did find the large cast somewhat confusing. It had pace and I liked the juxtaposition of different story lines that sometimes overlapped to give a snap shot of a crucial week in London.
Fairly typical and predictable story about terrorists in modern Britain. pretty dull really. It's ok but not really very inspiring and listening became a chore rather than a joy.
This book is cynical, angry and a very difficult read. Every character preaches about something and the narration is flat and lifeless. Very disappointing all round.
Three five star reviews, how can you go wrong? Easily by downloading this book. The first eight hours are tedious, shallow portraits of various characters, so shallow that I couldn't really care less about what happens to them. It seems to be a current trend to write in this fashion, the result is a total lack of coherence apart a very tenuous theme linking the various thin plots collimating in a sense of disappointment and let down that you've just wasted the last 14 hours.
"Very poor reader"
If I were Sebastian Faulks I would be searching for another reader to re-record this. It could be a reasonable book perhaps but the reader makes it difficult to continue listening with his strange stress patterns and sometimes staccato delivery. He seems to be focused on trying to stress certain words to make the reading more interesting but succeeds in distorting the meaning of many sentences. Also, why don't readers check on accurate pronunciation of less common English words and foreign words? In this case it is particularly strange because he reads the section where someone checks the accurate pronunciation of French words and gets it wrong! Also, why doesn't the editor spot this and get them to re-record the phrase. There is one (unintentionally) funny pronunication of the french word for 'hair' which he pronounces as 'horse' so speaks of the 'horse section' on the shelves of a shop instead of the hair section! Obviously you can't expect people to speak every foreign language perfectly but I certainly think that any reader wirth their salt should check out how to pronounce the few words they are asked to speak.
In short, this book could perhaps be alright if you read it but listening to it has been a very poor experience!
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content