London, the week before Christmas, 2007. Over seven days we follow the lives of seven major characters: a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career; a professional footballer recently arrived from Poland; a young lawyer with little work and too much time to speculate; a student who has been led astray by Islamist theory; a hack book-reviewer; a schoolboy hooked on skunk and reality TV; and a Tube train driver whose Circle Line train joins these and countless other lives together in a daily loop.
With daring skill, the novel pieces together the complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life. Greed, the dehumanising effects of the electronic age and the fragmentation of society are some of the themes dealt with in this savagely humorous book. The writing on the wall appears in letters ten feet high, but the characters refuse to see it - and party on as though tomorrow is a dream.
Sebastian Faulks probes not only the self-deceptions of this intensely realised group of people, but their hopes and loves as well. As the novel moves to its gripping climax, they are forced, one by one, to confront the true nature of the world they inhabit.
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Faulks's most vivid character is the odious John Veals, a hedge-fund manager, who relishes all the money that he makes and the power that he quietly exerts... Veals is brilliantly insidious... A thoughtful page-turner ... The handsome sunset is heavily, and rightly, weighed down by dark clouds. - The Times
During times of momentous change, men of letters are driven to produce works that fictionalise the state of the nation, linking individuals with historic events. The 19th century gave us Thackeray's Vanity Fair, Dickens's Our Mutual Friend and Trollope's The Way We Live Now; the 21st has given us Sebastian Faulks's A Week in December - Sunday Times
This vast novel, well-plotted and gripping throughout, is the first that Sebastian Faulks has set in our time... the ambition and scope of the book are to be applauded. The conclusion is suitably nail-biting and, pleasingly, love triumphs. Sebastian Faulks has probably got another best-seller on his hands. - Spectator
A portrayal of modern London that is both richly entertaining and highly rewarding. Faulks has come as close as anyone to completing the jigsaw that is this crazy, fascinating city of ours. - Evening Standard
Faulk's latest novel has been hyped as the defining novel of the noughties - and it doesn't disappoint... The book makes for uncomfortable reading at times, as Faulks explores many of our daily habits - but it is also brilliantly funny. - News of the World
This is a compelling page-turner depicting both the humanity and apathy that permeate contemporary London. - Sunday Mercury
There are moments ... that truly hit home...this book is an old-fashioned call to retrace our path, return to a more connected existence. - Independent on Sunday
The dark conclusion on which everything converges is that there are two types of terrorist in this country: one type universally reviled and against whom no measure is unjustified, and the other, the one who arguably does more damage, who gets invited to dinner with the Tory party leader. As the days pass, finding out who will succeed with his act of terrorism, and who will fail, makes for a thoroughly thrilling ride. - Literary Review
This is a Balzacian enterprise, to which the social and physical labyrinth of London is central and in which the characters are propelled through the plot by a tumult of urban energy and events... It is impossible not to enjoy Faulks's vitality, his rich detailing, language and timing. - Prospect
From crosswords to computers, Mr Faulks commands and re-creates our contemporary culture with aplomb. - Country Life
His book could not be more topical or bang up to date ... Faulks holds a mirror up to our drug-addled, money-obsessed society. The novel is full of Russian babes, venal politicians and bank fraudsters. What more could any reader want? Eat your heart out Charles Dickens - Tatler
Readers will race through the pages like bankers through cash - Guardian
As cold, impassive and deadly as a coiled rattlesnake, John Veals will endure as the epoch-defining villain of early 21st-century British fiction - Independent
Sebastian Faulks was born and brought up in Newbury, Berkshire. He worked in journalism before starting to write books. He is best known for the French trilogy, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and CharlotteGray (1989-1997) and is also the author of a triple biography, The Fatal Englishman (1996); a small book of literary parodies, Pistache (2006); and the novels HumanTraces (2005) and Engleby (2007). He lives in London with his wife and their three children.