This is a book that’s equally fascinating and original, as it is chaotic and frustrating. We are in some kind of future, and in the UK (or whatever it is by this point) and a series of worldwide coups are happening and in order to stave off such a fate for the UK, the prime minister installs a rock band as a kind of pseudo-government, and of course this leads to chaos.
I read through this book and found myself both really interested in the world we had, not super interested in the plot that came out of it, and really at best plugging along with the writing, which is perfectly good, but confusing enough at times, and make me not super enjoy it throughout. Part of the frustration comes from a pretty loose tone, a lot of world-building detail that’s tossed at you pretty casually, and the fact that the main characters have up to three different names at different times. I also don’t really have a lot of energy to parse out how the Muslim characters in the book, so I hope it’s good? It has some Neal Stephenson, some Nicola Barker, some David Mitchell, and some Kathy Acker to it. There’s also like five sequels to this book, but I think the relief I felt in finishing this one means I probably won’t be continuing.
“The sun was setting in a flood of scarlet and gold as a small white van cruised to a halt on the Caversham Road. Heraldic colour arced majestically over the Thames valley, glowing in the edging windscreens and blanking out the visors of the traffic cops.”