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N xploitative art dealer Dorothy married to a farmer whose business she has turned into an intensively factory farmed purveyor of ready made junk food Thomas an investment banker making his fortune from privatisation and Mark a shady arms dealer bound up with Ira All are hugely successful with massively intertwined relationships across the Ooko establishment and utterly greed driven and amoral The short chapters onach of them pick up on their lives in satirical but also insightful detail which skewer the times The other key character is Michael Owen a fairly hopeless author commissioned in odd circumstances by Tabitha to write a biography of the family There are a number of other related normal characters around him which turn out to have links both to him and to the Winshaw s whose ability to cause misery and detestation in their wake is partly traced through their stories The book nds with the reading of Mortimer s will to which Michael is invited and which features the limination of ach of the third generation in macabre ways which relate to their failings together with features the limination of Claim The Crown each of the third generation in macabre ways which relate to their failings together with series of revelations 2018 reread review One little fear I have when I reread a favourite book is if I dislike it This is the third time I ve read Jonathan Coe s fourth novel What a Carve Up and not only did I like it than the previous 2 readings but I discovered how deep Coe s sense of satire isThe centerpiece of the book could be The Winshaws the awful aristocratic family or Michael Owen the person who has been commissioned to write biography about the Winshaws but in reality I would say that the film What a Carve up is the true link betweenverything that happens in the novelThe film itself is a British horror comedy which Michael Own watches as a birthday treat Unfortunately his mother deems the film unsuitable and pulls Michael out of the cinema midway and all the way through adulthood he incorporates his life within the film Not only that but Michael has other vivid memories about his childhood the farm he grew up on the walks in the park the death of his father and his first forays into writing All are linked to the WinshawsThe Winshaws are an xample of upper class people at their worst Each of the siblings or parents have controlled a certain aspect of society for xample Hilary the youngest Winshaw works as a gossip columnist and damages reputations Roddy her brother works as an Art Dealer and screws people in In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, every way possible Mark their cousin is an arms dealer Dorothy their aunt works in animal husbandry and so on All Winshaws will stop at nothing to achieve their aimsven if it means killing the people closest to them Coe has picked a perfect metaphor on politics generally people who don metaphor on politics generally people who don understand the profession or do not care about the welfare of others wreaking havoc on the common folks while Bark earning a handsome profitAs Michael is chosen to write a biography on these people he begins his research and the he discovers the horrors these people commit the he realises how they have affected his life from childhood Murders disappearances wars all are linked to The WInshaws Yes that includes the film What a Carve Up as wellWhat a Carve up is no ordinary satire It doubles as a murder mysteryspecially during the On Such a Full Sea ending which resembles anlaborate game of Cluedo Coe doesn t stop there The book contains high comedy adventure and horror Despite the complexity and cleverness of this novel it is readable and ntertainingThis paltry review just skims the surface of this deep book I could also mention how Coe manages to link all details in the most surprising way how the Dorothy chapter will give you nightmares how he can make a person ating a cheeseburger sound amazing There are surprises but it is fun if you discover themConsidering that Coe s previous three novels were ok What a Carve Up is clearly an artistic leap With Carve Up Coe has managed to combine Cannibal experimental techniues and make them accessible I cannot stress that this is a work of genius and I am notxaggerating Read Read Read this novel Wow this is a book with many layers to it and it was not like anything I ve Mastered (The Enforcers, ever read before First of all this is a book about the infamous Winshaw family who is greedy and completely irritational and unbelievable The introduction tells of us this dysfunctional family as a whole but during the narrative we zoom in on the children and how they ve grown up into greedy and unsympathetic adults Second of all this is the story of the writer Michael who is hired to write a biography of the infamous Winshaw family His narrative works as a frame to the whole story and we freuently turn back to him and hisndeavour to write down the family s history Third of all this book is based on an old horror movie called What A Carve Up a movie that works as a parallel to the story of the Winshaws and the writer Michael This novel comes with some very memorable scenes that were perfectly described and that have carved themselves into my memory pun intended It was a fascinating read but it was also a book that taught me to be patient and stick to the story through the rather long and dragging descriptions of the greedy family members not all of them were that interesting to read about but once you reached the Man, Son of Man end of their story it all made PERFECTLY sense What a book What a carve E force of menace malicious comedy and torrential social bile this book marks the American debut of anxtraordinary write. ,


Perhaps interesting in a documentary way of the merciless Thatcher years in Britain but I really couldn t force myself to this book The characters are almost all Alter Ego exaggerated caricaturesspecially the cynism of the Winshaw family the plot a bit too Agatha Christie like and the writing style too swollen Dickens like Coe certainly can write but after 150 pages I had seen nough This book is absolutely wonderful I d read it before a few years ago and was itching to get my hands on it again I m not sure xactly why it s so great fantastic characterisation a hugely twisting and turning plot hilariously funny consistently surprisingit has it allMicheal Owen is an out of luck writer who was commissioned to write a history of the Winshaw Family a hugely rich and hugely powerful family who between them manage to carve up pretty much Uncommon Wisdom every influential sphere of British life Forever cutting corners and trampling on the common man they are a hideous bunch of people and the Micheal learns about them the he starts to blame them for the failings in his own life When the numerous threads of this wonderful story come together at thend it s unput downable Go read What a Carve Up is so much than a political novel though it is certainly that The Winshaw peeps represent all that was wrong with the greed decade 1980s in Britain when people I cared for couldn t get a job or proper medical treatment on the national health In spite of my disgust with those times I m delighted by Coe s absolutely horrid unabashedly over the top baddies who represent what can go wrong when creeps rule Also a plus is the Unseen City ever shifting narrative from first person to manuscript to newspaper article to third persontc Love itCoe draws a network of parallels between his narrative and the 1961 film What a Carve Up which is itself a spiffy parody of the horror film and the British cozy genres The author uses a tame bedroom scene from the movie to describe the sexual awakening of the protagonist Owen as a youth and in a separate part of the book Thomas Winshaw s paraphilia But the connection to the film runs deeper The characters and situations Coe draws are at times as outlandish as those in the film A beastly upper crust family the imposing dark mansion an attractive sincere nurse a grave family solicitor a nutty spinster tensions between social class unreuited love the reading of the will with Art ensuing murders and certainly sexual repression all theselements from the film are in this novel Suits me the film s been on my mental like list for uite some time because it s a homage to Christie s Ten Little IndiansThere are yummy little illustrations of ach Winshaw dotted throughout the book ach introduces the characters textual profiles As caricatures they are as cartoonish and farcical as Coe s book Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard each introduces the characters textual profiles As caricatures they are as cartoonish and farcical as Coe s Likewise they provide lots of information on who these people really are Stylistically they copy Tenniel and I believe that this is intentional because theyffectively convey a type of demented whimsy that s found in Alice Through the Looking Glass I hope these sketches are in all ditionsThe message is fairly straightforward Greed is bad and can ruin people s lives Got it But for me what saves this book from being boringly preachy are mainly two things The FionaOwen storyline harkens to Orpheus loss of Eurydice a major sniffle moment Much of the sexuality in the book is insulated dreamlike and voyeuristic Let s face it a healthy well adjusted xistence is preferred by most in real life but makes for poor copy The film s bedroom scene presented through a mirror Owen s titillation via the lens of countless video tapes Joan s slumber observed the deliciously icky Thomas all these remind me of the pathos and terrible conseuences of an Orphean gaze and the impotence of fear and greedThe novel s other saving grace and great strength is humor I wonder Would I like this book as much if I didn t agree with the author s politics as presented in the text How much does this matter to me I dunno But it s been a long time since a novel has made me laugh right out loud the way this one has I startled the cat on several occasions with my guffaws This is truly the author s gift because it s those funny shiny moments in the novel that remind me how hilarity makes life worth living no matter who s running the country Now I will never see a Maraschino cherry as just a Maraschino cherry I am very happy to have read this book One of the true joys in life in my opinion is the right to differ Few things can be compared to the feeling you get when you read a book or see a movie which veryone has been raving about and realize that it s utter crap I really wanted that to be the case with What A Carve Up although having read Coe in the past I This book was recommended to me by a friend who stated it was a fun read Oh my god is this your idea of fun Are you crazy woman Tired dull not as funny as it thinks it is satire on 1980 s Tory Britain Blah the Tories are not funny which Remember when Hollywood used to keep putting out xtremely similar movies two by two at When I Moan (Vassi and Seri 1: Russian Stepbrother Romance) exactly the same time like The Truman Show and Pleasantville or Antz and A Bug s Life This novel is the companion piece to Iain Banks slightly better Complicity in both someone goes around murdering representatives of the vile Englishstablis. If Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie had No Biggy! ever managed to collaborate they might have produced this shamelesslyntertain.

Jonathan Coe æ 0 SUMMARY

Hment in amusing ways The point is to spin some riffs on the various ways these creeps run the UK It s all a big revenge fantasy and uite amusing on the various ways these creeps run the UK It s all a big revenge fantasy and uite amusing all that but it just isn t very serious Which I wouldn t mention only this particular novel is 500 pages long so the jokes had better be good ones I have no idea why this book got stuck in my head years ago as something I had to read but it did and when I saw it on a shelf recently I thought why not give it a crack at long last now And I m glad I finally read it but h it s just ok What a Carve Up by Jonathan Coe is a critiue of Margaret Thatcher s reign from 1979 to 1990 where the Tories carved up public assets and sold them off to the private sector to the public s detriment Coe personifies these critiues poor healthcare banking deregulation war profiteering and a cheapening of the culture in the form of the fictional mega wealthy Winshaw family whose lives are chronicled here It s also about the family s biographer Michael Owen an ordinary man whose life is connected to and affected by the Winshaws in ways than he realises And the title is also a reference to an obscure 1961 movie of the same name starring Sid James Kenneth Connor and Shirley Eaton which Michael Owen is obsessed with and whose plot mirrors the book s in places Phewf what a labyrinthine concept And the first thing to say about it is that Jonathan Coe deserves a lot of credit for juggling this many balls without dropping one it really is an admirably detailed and masterfully told story And then the second thing to say is that after all that the ffect is underwhelming Coe has Attracting Birds to Your Backyard enormous contempt for Thatcher and her ilk but besides that I m not sure what he s trying to say beyondxpressing that rage in what I imagine was for him that cathartic finale The criticisms of Thatcher s ra as personified in the Winshaws isn t as strong across the board I could see it in the banker Thomas the politician Henry and the weapons dealer Mark because banking politics and war were the most prominent features of that time but Roddy the art dealer and Hillary the newspaper columnist Eh their contributions to giving the public sub standard art was a weak point It s also an immensely contrived narrative I understand that in most fiction you have to allow for a degree of disbelief suspension but there were just too many contrivances for my liking Random lodgers in some distant town playing a major role years down the line that forced four month romance between Michael and Fiona shoe horned in for a strained sentimental moment
to underline the 
underline the of the NHS a chance ncounter with someone connecting decades back to WW2 and the Winshaw family and Michael Owen I mean really And what was the point of constantly drawing parallels to the Sid James movie why did the book have to turn into a pastiche of that filmThere are also a lot of slow boring parts to the book Too many of Michael Owen s chapters weren t Bird-by-Bird Gardening engaging nor were all of the Winshaw family chapters Dorothy Thomas and Mark terribly interesting I reallynjoyed all of the scenes set in the macabre Winshaw Towers as well as all the parts featuring the wretched clan suabbling amongst themselves than a few Winshaws come off as amusing Roald Dahl grotesues The wonderfully named and overly sexed The Works of Saint Augustine elderly gay detective Findlay Onyx was a fun and uirky addition And some of the Winshaw family chapters were really good Henry s is a wry look at the rise and fall of Thatcher Being a fan of Agatha Christie andspecially her best novel And Then There Were None I really loved the finale as it turned into a country house murder mystery Coe s writing is incredibly skillful and though I found the narrative contrived it is remarkable to put together this kind of layered storytelling where Unbuttoning the CEO (The Suits Undone even the smallest components come into play at some later point The novel could certainly be tightened up though it didn t need to be 500 pages long for what it is It s too sprawling making its points unfocused and watered downspecially its overall verdict on Thatcher which was unremarkable I m glad I read What a Carve Up if only to cross it off my mental checklist of books to read in this life and it had its moments but I wouldn t say it s a great novel anyone needs to read Hugely readable and very My Teacher Is a Robot enjoyable social satire drawing on English farce and spoof horror movies Ostensibly the story of the Winshaw family a family stuck twice by tragedy but never on such a terrible scale as the book both starts andnds One of the two brothers of the second generation Godfrey is shot down on a crew mission in the war causing his closest sister Tabitha to cause the other brother Lawrence of his murder with such vehemence and persistence that she is taken to a mental hospital Twenty years later she is released for the other brother Mortimer s fiftieth birthday a fraught occasion which Supper Club ends in a murderous assault on Lawrence whonds up killing his unknown assailant The remainder of the book is set in the 1980s and very much a zeitgeist of that Moanas New Friend (Disney Moana) era One set of key characters are the five third generation Winshaw s Hilary a reactionary right wing newspaper columnist Henry anx labour politician now defected to the Tories and an nthusiast for NHS privatisation both publically on chat shows and behind the scenes in lobbying Roderick Ing novel which introduces readers to what may be the most powerful family in England and is certainly the vilest A tour .
What a Carve Up