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Jonathan Coe: some brief thoughts on the end of a bad relationship

You know when you have it in your head that you really like an author?  Because, at some stage in your history, you read a book by them that was well, almost perfect?  And you read and read their other work, still hoping to find another gem, but always come away a little disappointed?  Sadly, that is my relationship with Jonathan Coe.

In 2001, when it first came out, I read ‘The Rotter’s Club.’  And I remember laughing out loud, and being totally engrossed in what I was reading.  So, like the bad relationship you keep going back to, because you remember one magical day, I am always hopeful when a new Jonathan Coe novel comes out.

And so it was with ‘Expo 58.’  I even stopped reading another book in the middle, to begin this one.  Not. Worth. It.


Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad book.  It just didn’t warrant all the excitement on my part.  It was just a bit of a nothing.  The setting itself, the Belgian expo, is fairly interesting.  But the characters lack pizazz, the storyline is a bit windy without much to sell it and the much-promised laughs just didn’t come.

My relationship with Jonathan Coe is such that sometimes I wonder whether it is in fact me, and not him that is the problem. Because, if I read other people’s reviews of Expo 58, they seem to love it, and get it, and find it engaging and often funny.

Sadly, Jonathan Coe, I think it’s time for me to move on.  I don’t see in you what I once did and can no longer love you the way I have.  Luckily for you, there are plenty of others out there to pick up where I left off.


About bloggingthelonglist

An avid reader, but I tend to stick to what I know I am comfortable with. Trying to break out of the comfort zone...

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