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The internationally celebrated author of The Debt to Pleasure returns with this major, breakout novel -- scathing and subversive, sharply witty and brilliantly observed as it follows the lives and fortunes of a group of people in London that becomes connected in unforeseen ways. Pepys Road: an ordinary street in the capital. Today, through each letterbox along this ordinary street drops a card with a simple message: We Want What You Have. At forty, Roger Yount is blessed with an expensively groomed wife, two small sons and a powerful job in the city. Freddy Kano, teenage football sensation, has left a two-room shack in Senegal to follow his dream. Traffic warden Quentina has exchanged the violence of the police in Zimbabwe for the violence of the enraged middle classes. Elsewhere in the Capital, Zbigniew has come from Warsaw to indulge the super-rich in their interior decoration whims. These are just some of the unforgettable characters in Lanchester's unputdownable masterpiece novel of contemporary urban life.
Winner of the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel and a New York Times Notable Book, The Debt to Pleasure is a wickedly funny ode to food. Traveling from Portsmouth to the south of France, Tarquin Winot, the book's snobbish narrator, instructs us in his philosophy on everything from the erotics of dislike to the psychology of the menu. Under the guise of completing a cookbook, Winot is in fact on a much more sinister mission that only gradually comes to light.
John Lanchester's brilliant survey of the current financial crisis explains how the booming global economy collapsed seemingly overnight.
For two years before and after the 1948 Communist Revolution, David Kidd lived in Peking, where he married the daughter of an aristocratic Chinese family. "I used to hope," he writes, "that some bright young scholar on a research grant would write about us and our Chinese friends before it was too late and we were all dead and gone, folding into the darkness the wonder that had been our lives." Here Kidd himself brings that wonder to life.
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