John Lanchester's bloated new novel is structured around one of the dullest of novelistic clichés: all of the characters live or work on the same street, in this case the fictional Pepys Road in London. This was a hoary old notion back when Coronation Street was new.
Lanchester has attempted to jazz up the format with a smidgen of Sunday supplement research - lists of house prices and stereo systems, and so on...
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