A Week in December (Vintage International)
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In the blustery final days of 2007, seven characters will reach an unexpected turning point: a hedge fund manager pulling off a trade, a professional football player recently arrived from Poland, a young lawyer with too much time on his hands, a student led astray by Islamist theory, a hack book reviewer, a schoolboy hooked on pot and reality TV, and a Tube train driver whose Circle Line train joins these lives in a daily loop. And as the novel moves to its gripping climax, they are forced, one by one, to confront the new world they inhabit.
Panoramic and masterful, A Week in December melds moral heft and piercing wit, holding a mirror up to the complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life.
in a green sheath dress: “That’s exactly right,” he was saying. “What we have to fight against is the low expectation of so many parents. It’s no good just getting little Johnny … or, er … Joanna—” “Or Wazir.” “Especially not Wazir, no use getting any of them through with half a dozen meaningless exam passes. We have to raise the bar. Raise the standards all round …” The removal of all the furniture meant the guests could move freely without falling over chairs and tables, but unfortunately
least to the tidal barrier at Woolwich against which the swollen oceans were rising. After tea, back in his room, Gabriel took off his jacket and loosened his tie. He put his feet on the desk and picked up the crossword. “Butcher has ox tongue.” It was the last clue, and if “boxcar” going down was right, which he was sure it was, it began with an “X.” And since there was also an “X” in the clue, this suggested an anagram. He looked away, out of the window, then looked back, and, as though by
day. The writing was smeared in letters ten feet high across the wall, but still people were trying to ignore it. The party was still on; the hard core, drunk on risk, unable to believe the gold rush might ever end, would not go home. In this atmosphere, Veals doubted he could make the end of the week without a keen analyst somewhere spotting that simple U.K. health indicators—currency and gilt values—were down, and then making a connection with ARB. The second problem was the one Duffy had
children’s story, a travel book or a biography. Excluding all fiction was a bold thing to do, but it was felt that novelists already had enough prizes of their own not to need the £25,000 on offer from the restaurant chain that claimed to have put the “pizza” into “pizzazz.” None of the board of PP was much of a reader (three out of eight voted against sponsoring the prize), but the finance director knew the man who ran the Zephyr public relations agency, which had some connections in the arts
current headmaster’s life is largely one of conferences and administration, making speeches, marketing and so on.” He coughed self-deprecatingly. “I can’t pretend it’s creative work we’re offering you, Mr. Tranter, but we’d pay you decently.” Tranter smiled. “People’d be really surprised, wouldn’t they, that you of all schools … I mean—” “I know, I know,” said the Head hurriedly. “Top ten of the league table and all that. But I also know for a fact that other illustrious schools do the same