“Expo 58” by Jonathan Coe (UK)
Members of our Summer Reading Group liked the differences in writing styles and themes of this year’s four shortlisted books finding most of the stories highly enjoyable. At the end of the discussion, when it came time for voting, a majority picked “Expo 58” as their choice for Best Summer Read 2014.
“Expo 58” is set in Brussels in 1958 during the World’s Fair. Readers loved the descriptions of British life at the end of the Fifties finding them hilarious at times. They liked the dialogue filled with sarcasm and farcical moments. They warmed to the narrator and felt that most other characters were well portrayed. The last chapter of the book made them feel a bit sad as it summarises the narrator’s life from the end of the Expo to the present day. It left them reflecting on how the choices people make impact their lives and others.
London, 1958: unassuming civil servant Thomas Foley is plucked from his desk at the Central Office of Information and sent on a six-month trip to Brussels. His task: to keep an eye on The Brittania, a brand new pub which will form the heart of the British presence at Expo 58… Read more
Nicola’s Summer Reading list 2014
“The Sound of Things Falling” by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Colombia)
“We Need New Names” by NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)
“Questions of Travel” by Michelle de Kretser (Sri Lanka)
“Expo 58” by Jonathan Coe (U.K.) *
* Best Summer Read
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur