Customer Reviews for

A Week in December

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

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2 Star

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  • Posted July 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Ambitious Novel

    Sebastian Faulks' A Week In December follows an ensemble of characters through a single week. These characters are related most obviously through a dinner party planned for the end of the week. There is also a connection between many of them with a psychiatric hospital in London. The loose connections between characters means that the story hops around a bit as we follow each character through each day of the week. The chapters comprising the day of the week roughly follow the chronology of a day, though there are numerous flashbacks to break up the monotony of an adherence to strict temporal order.

    Thematically, Faulks pulls together a number of interesting contemporary ideas: the rise of home-grown terrorism, the pursuit of money as an end in itself, the increasing complication of trading commodities, and the idea of truth and faith in the contemporary world. As such, he has set a bold agenda for himself. While he does a good job in explaining some of the arcana of the financial world, the other areas are less well developed. It is probably for this reason that throughout the book, the character of Veals seems like the (anti-) hero in which Faulks is most interested.

    Ultimately, Faulks is unable to pull all the threads together. While a Dickensian conclusion where all the strands are neatly tied together would have seemed forced, the book is left as feeling like it never quite came together. I applaud Faulks for taking on the big subjects, but I wish he had managed it a bit better.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2010

    A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks

    Reminiscent of Paul Haggis' 2004 Crash, A Week in December is a dark, raw, voyeuristic glimpse into the interrelated lives of several Londoner's during the course of one December week. With over seven main characters and numerous minor, the storyline derives its momentum through fragmented snippets of senseless subsistence wherein, Faulks details the mundane, the reprehensible and the misguided.

    Faulks' writing, while erudite, is both bitter and inordinately expansive. I must admit it took great willpower to persist through each futile chapter and then only to end in disappointment. Unlike Crash, there was no purpose, no 'ah-ha" moment that brought everything together in an instant of "universal understanding" or enlightenment. The story simply ends without redemption, recognition or reproach.

    If you've become complacent in your rose-colored-glasses and desire an unabashed dose of reality, this novel may be for you. If, on the other hand, you are cognizant of the world in which you live everyday and desire a bit of hope, recognition and redemptive inspiration in your reading, I would advise you steer clear of this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Merry Christmas

    The first reviewer? I am hardly qualified for that. I liked A Week in December for its insights on the world we live in. Faulks has put together a microcosm of London today and goes to town with it. His story bites- how's that for a first review? Now let someone else tell you the real story of how well-written the book is...maybe we can find out what that bicycle is all about. I know what it did to Hassan, but what was the purpose with the others? To make them stop and be aware of the world around them?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 23, 2010

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