Twenty years of What A Carve Up!

Chris Hallam's World View

what-a-carve-up

April 1994 saw the publication of perhaps the most fiercely anti-Thatcherite novel ever written: What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe.

It is a furiously angry as well as a funny book, but do not assume it is exclusively political. The novel’s action darts back to far beyond the Thatcherite Eighties veering between the decades from the Second World War to shortly after the Lady’s fall from power in late 1990. In fact, only one major character, the turncoat Henry Winshaw, is a politician. Throw in a recurring fixation with the fairly obscure Carry On style film starring Sid James and Kenneth Connor, a ninety year old gay private detective, a bitter attack on the post-Thatcherite public transport system and that’s still only scratching the surface of this marvellously incisive novel.

The novel is the primarily the tale of the Winshaws, the horrendous family who the book’s narrator is charged…

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