Paperback: South of of the River, by Blake Morrison

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The Independent Culture

Best known for his miniaturist masterpiece of a memoir, When Did You Last See Your Father?, Blake Morrison breaks out into large-scale fiction with a sprawling state-of-the-nation novel. Opening in the bleary-eyed dawn of the New Labour victory in May 1997, ending five years later, it follows a group of five interconnected characters – including a failed playwright, a young tree-hugger and an old-school Tory. The political debates are ingeniously integrated into their rackety personal lives, but keeping up with the South Circular set over the course of this over-long novel does take its toll.