A Week in December, by Sebastian Faulks

Truly a masterful reflection on today’s society, A Week in December offers a snapshot into a variety of lives within the realms of modern London. Juxtaposed from the rich to the poor, the fanatic to the bemused, Faulks explores the subtle parts which can link otherwise vastly different lives.

What I loved most about this novel was the constant sense of learning it emitted, with frequent insights and knowledgeable musings on a number of different aspects of the modern world. It’s hard not to admire an author that has taken the time to do their research, and Faulks displays his own efforts from a dozen different voices and perspectives.

The social commentary running throughout is highly thought provoking, and an honest reflection on many of the issues affecting today’s world. Over the course of one week, A Week in December explores the extremities of human greed, belief and love, enhanced beyond measure by modern technological advancement. Faulks highlights the dilapidation of today’s education, the terrifying consequences of misled faith, the heartless fervour for wealth and much more throughout.

Written in 2009 in the midst of the recession, a key focus of the novel is the causes and consequences of the bank failures, exploring the intricacies of insider trading and the careless greed and immorality of the few who benefited the fall of the many. Impossible sums of money pass hands with but a few well placed calls, garnered not for want or need, but for the simple exercise of power and greed.

In stark contrast but also dangerously connected, Faulks likewise looks to the Koran and the extremities of faith, considering the ease with which belief can turn to terror. Such issues affecting our world are often hard to understand, and Faulks does well to lend a telling but emphatic insight into the confusing and mesmerising nature of indoctrination, which so many young believers have tragically succumbed to.

This novel has so much to offer, covering a myriad of topics and narratives within a well written and knowledgeable piece of fiction. For anyone interested in expanding their understanding of our modern world, this is certainly worth a read.

Length: 400 (Vintage)
Overall Rating: 5 stars

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Author: Jack Jakins

A recent graduate of history, now an aspiring writer and general cynicist

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