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  • Good to see one of our finest novelisits, John Lanchester, tackling the banking crisis in his new book Whoops!. Howard Davies reviews in the Guardian (but isn't entirely impressed!):

    When I chaired the Booker prize jury a couple of years ago, I wrote an article noting that the world's financial system was collapsing about our ears, but that you would get no inkling of it from the writings of British novelists. They were all quite uninterested in the world of finance, or indeed the world of business and commerce more generally.

    One could not make the same point today. Novelists and playwrights are grappling with the mysteries of high finance, trying to illuminate the causes of the most significant economic event since the 1930s. Last year, we had a novel from Sebastian Faulks (A Week in December) and a play from David Hare, The Power of Yes, which cover very much the same territory as Whoops!.

    But John Lanchester, an interesting novelist whose characters often inhabit a recognisable world of work, has not tried a fictional treatment. Perhaps he has a crisis novel on the way, but here he has bent his mind to an explanation of the crisis which is entirely in the here and now. He wrote a prescient piece in early 2008, where he saw the potential for a major economic crash to follow the financial perturbations of late 2007. That earlier piece, and some others, have now been reworked and updated at book length (more...)

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