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Jonathan Coe's novels are filled with biting political satire, moving and astute observations of life and hilarious set pieces that have made him one of the most popular writers of his generation. Jonathan Coe is the author of twelve novels, all published by Penguin, which include the highly acclaimed bestsellers What a Carve Up! He is also the author of a biography of B.

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The House of Sleep by Elizabeth Bartlett - Free Ebook

The House of Sleep Jonathan Coe. Paperback Ebook Audio Download. View more editions. Buy from. The House of Sleep - Jonathan Coe's comic tale of love and obsession Sarah is a narcoleptic who has dreams so vivid she mistakes them for real events; Robert has his life changed for ever by the misunderstandings arising from her condition; Terry, the insomniac, spends his wakeful nights fuelling his obsession with movies; and the increasingly unstable Dr Gregory Dudden sees sleep as a life-shortening disease which must be eradicated.

Read more. Share at. How did this come about? That dissatisfaction led me to What a Carve Up!

I knew I wanted to write some kind of satirical response to Thatcherism on a national scale. What a Carve Up! As in The House of Sleep, there is much juggling of different plot lines and an effortless ability to bring disparate subjects together, so that, for example, the rhetoric of the Gulf war sits alongside the spectre of Yuri Gagarin. I asked him about the decision to incorporate the war into the narrative. The mixture of physical reality and media-filtered unreality that characterised the war is so much what the novel is about. It felt like the right thing to hook the novel on to.

How much of the academic background has a say in his fiction?


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I think my first novel, The Accidental Woman, has academic leanings in that it is a novel about authorial intentions. It's bordering on pastiche Beckett, and is greatly influenced by Watt and Murphy. The central character is the intrusive narrator. But the motto I had pinned over my desk was Hitchcock's formula for engaging an audience: torture the heroine.

Now that I know a bit more about the kind of man Hitchcock was, I wouldn't adopt that approach quite so wholeheartedly.

The House Of Sleep

In addition to adapting The Dwarves of Death, Coe is currently at work on a new novel, set, during the Seventies in Birmingham, where he grew up. I think it's really about my schooldays. The Seventies represented a rather shocking period of political instability, complete with power cuts, strikes, three-day weeks. We were like an Eastern European country on the verge of collapse.

I want to write about that instability as if it were perfectly natural, which to a young boy it would have been, as the novel's going to be seen through his eyes. Coe believes that there is nothing like a compelling story for drawing a reader into a book. He is also acutely aware of the way humour can sugar the pill at some of the more demanding moments.

It is these factors which have, without doubt, contributed to the popular appeal of his work. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Try Independent Premium free for 1 month.

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