Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka
Most of the `professional’ critiques of this book use phrases such as `made me laugh’, and `wonderfully funny’. But I don’t think this book is intended to be read as a comedy. Certainly it treats its topics in an amusing way, but in the sense that we smile almost with incredibility at the events that take place. And what are the topics? Basically what happens in the world of traders of financial products – the people we often see shouting frantically into telephones. There are some other topics, such as what really happened in the communes of the 1960s; and what it’s like to try to teach kids who don’t want to learn. And there are some wonderful minor characters; the school caretaker for example. But it’s the world of the traders that Marina Lewycka shows us with all its raw greed. You will probably think that much of what she writes cannot be true – surely people don’t behave like that. And that’s what makes you smile. However this is the reality of what happens to people addicted to the most dangerous drug in the world – money. These are the people who if not totally responsible, at least made a major contribution to what happened in 2008.
You must read this book. You’ll thoroughly enjoy it. The more people who know what’s really going on, the better chance there will be to stop it, because it’s still happening today.
I would love to know if Marina Lewycka intended to educate or if she just wrote an extremely readable, enjoyable, amusing book? Either way, a great read.