What A Carve Up - Jonathan Coe

An angry savaging of the destruction of Britain by a few wealthy individuals, since WWII but especially during the "Thatcher Years"; though written in 1991 (with the Gulf War as recurring theme), a lot of it rings very true for the US in 2010. However serious in intent (and not shying away from depiction of the horrors committed by utterly unscrupulous greed), it is nonetheless written in a cockeyed, at times downright bizarre form, blending the ruined and ruinous personal lives of the criminal Winshaw family with the ruined and hopeless personal life of a mediocre writer, whose disjointed chronicle this supposedly is; there is lots of highly gothic drama, and the whole thing is framed in terms of old-fashioned horror movies (the kind that can easily seem campy) plus the dreamworld of Cocteau's Orphée. It is also avowedly comic, though I have to say it rarely made me laugh, except at a few parodies of bad writing. I haven't conveyed much idea of the labyrinthine structural complexity of this book, nor the sub-themes that run through it; it does seem to work well, but I haven't really puzzled all of it out.