Amy Reads Books

Ice Haven

Ice Haven - Daniel Clowes 4.5 StarsWith all eyes turned towards London for the 2012 Olympics (go Team GB), it seemed like a really good time to read Lanchester's Capital, a novel that focuses on the inhabitants and workers on Pepys Road on the brink of the financial crisis of 2008. When even my Dad, who isn't a big fan of fiction, said that he enjoyed it I was really hopeful that it would be a really great book, and it pretty much is.Lanchester's novel isn't really plot based, but the device that ties all the characters together is the arrival of postcards with a photo of their house and 'We Want What You Have' written on them. This campaign allows is the backdrop for several character driven stories to unfold.The major success of this book is that Lanchester can keep you interested, even when his characters are unsympathetic to the reader. For example; the Youts and Roger's work colleagues deserved everything that came there way in my opinion, but Lanchester kept their stories interesting. I was actually laughing out loud at his description of Roger attempting to keep his young sons entertained and under control without a nanny. There were, however, plenty of characters that I really liked. In particular; Petinua Howe the last remaining inhabitant who had been born in her home, Patrick & Freddy Kamo who had moved to London to pursue Freddy's footballing dreams. the Kamal family with all their flaws and Quentina, the Zimbabwean traffic warden.Lanchester's writing style isn't overly descriptive or flowery, he uses pretty simple language but keeps the story moving along nicely. He also perhaps is not afraid to allow some of his own opinions to creep in, especially in terms of immigration and the City culture. However, his beliefs are not hammered through to the point that it becomes polemic or that it gets in the way of Capital's success as a novel.London is a fascinating city; it's a place that I really like visiting and can see myself working one day, and Lanchester brings his small portion of it to life brilliantly. I highly recommend it.