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Come and chat to the award-winning SADIE JONES about her new novel FALLOUT, her previous bestseller THE OUTCAST, and her writing career on Monday 20 July, 9-10pm

(112 Posts)
TillyMumsnetBookClub (MNHQ) Mon 15-Jun-15 13:51:59

Our July author Sadie Jones' latest book, Fallout, grew from her impressions of the romantic, turbulent nature of Britain in the 1970s, when "everybody was stumbling in this fallout from the 1960s. There were recessions and power cuts and people doing pub theatre and feminism. It was an incredibly serious time."

Fallout follows aspiring playwright Luke and the beautiful but vulnerable actress Nina as they navigate their way through painful relationships and volatile careers amid the daily struggles of 1970s London life.

Like Maggie O'Farrell and Esther Freud, Sadie Jones is a highly intelligent and perceptive writer, weaving her sharp psychological insight into a gripping plot. Fallout is a beautifully researched novel, informative and deeply evocative.

Sadie's first novel, The Outcast, won the Costa First Novel Award, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and was a Richard and Judy Summer Reads Number One bestseller. It has been adapted by the BBC (with the screenplay written by Sadie) and will be shown as a two-part drama in July - find out more on Sadie's Twitter feed.

Vintage have 50 copies of Fallout to give to Mumsnetters: to claim your copy please fill in your details on the book of the month page. We’ll post on the thread when all the copies have gone. If you’re not lucky enough to bag one of those, you can always get a Kindle version here or here.

We are delighted that Sadie will be joining us on Monday 20th July, 9-10pm, to discuss Fallout, her previous award-winning novels and her writing career. Please feel free to discuss the book here throughout the month and then come and meet Sadie on the night, and ask her a question or simply tell her what you thought of the book. Look forward to seeing you on the 20th…

southeastdweller Wed 24-Jun-15 22:31:43

I have a library copy which I'll start in a week or two. Looking forward to the webchat.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 02-Jul-15 16:31:38

Just bought the audiobook of this. Hoping to be able to listen to it in time and join in the webchat smile

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 09-Jul-15 10:03:30

The book giveaway is closed those who were allocated copies have been notified. If you'd like to read the book and join this month's bookclub webchat with other readers and author Sadie Jones, there's still plenty of time to order the book, read and join us on Monday 20th July between 9-10 pm.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 13-Jul-15 17:06:10

Started it this morning - so far enjoying it very much.

FoxInABox Mon 13-Jul-15 17:56:40

I'm currently half way through and really enjoying it. The characters should be unlike able but I find myself liking them still!

Pinkcatgirl Mon 13-Jul-15 19:17:56

Just started it too!

GetHappy Mon 13-Jul-15 19:33:54

First ever Sadie Jones book read and hopefully it won't be my last!

The story, set principally in a theatrical context is written very well. I then went on to discover Sadie Jones' father is a playwright so explains a lot. Nonetheless, the book is beautifully written. I didn't find it fast paced but it most certainly has its compelling moments.

I would recommend and am looking forward to reading her other novels

Jossykaye Mon 13-Jul-15 19:49:07

I'm about half way through- not overly enjoying it. Am finding the character's a bit intense and heavy-going. I think it's well written and I liked how Nina and Luke's stories are written as a parallel narrative but it's not for me I'm afraid.

BearAusten Mon 13-Jul-15 20:40:39

Although Fallout was in the main well written, I found it somewhat laborious and at times tedious. Interesting observations in terms of relationships, theatre and creativity. However, I did not have any empathy for the characters and felt somewhat indifferent to them. Rather too depressing for a typical summer/holiday read.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 16-Jul-15 13:31:26

Quite a difficult novel to know how to review. It definitely falls into the interesting and liked category, rather than loved. Three and a half stars out of five I think.

It's interesting in that it takes the reader behind the scenes, as it were, of the theatrical world. There are actors, writers, producers, directors etc etc. And it lays bare that world for the reader to see "warts and all" - their insecurities, petty jealousies, rivalries, back-stabbing hatred and betrayals. But for some we see their sheer hard work and determination to make it, and their bitter disappointments and failures.

Perhaps this novel ought to be read by anyone even remotely interested in entering this world. Surely it would put off all but the very determined!

The majority of the characters I found myself disliking, some actively loathing. Nina, the actress, I thought was shallow, selfish and easy to dislike, as was her thoroughly unpleasant manipulative husband Tony.

I felt some sympathy with Luke who was, to some extent, an innocent (certainly at the beginning) in that world and was swept along, often out of control and unable to stop himself causing others pain.

Not wanting to plot spoil, but I did like Paul and Leigh almost up to the end, believing them to be the only stable and honest couple. But ...

And the ending? It seemed a bit rushed, and I wasn't entirely convinced that it sat quite right.

Nevertheless, though, I thought this novel had far more depth and knowledge of the acting world than Funny Girl by Nick Hornby which I read recently and which was also set in the same era in London. This one was believable, and with no casual name dropping just for the sake of it - only where genuinely part of the story.

I'm now pressing on with Outcast, which was languishing on my bookshelf unread blush and really enjoying that. Will come back with question(s) when I've finished that one too.

Fridaysbookworm Fri 17-Jul-15 17:57:20

I was sent a free copy of this book by mumsnet (so thank you!) and I would say that on the whole I really enjoyed reading it.
I thought the author's characterisations were really good and she captured the complex relationships and characters' inner turmoil with their own emotions well. I also enjoyed her portrayal of the 70s scene.
Although I found the mood of the book quite melancholy and intense, I was still keen to follow the story through to find out how it would end.
I also found that the story did not always keep pace (ie when discussing in detail the various plays) and without wishing to spoil plot for others I also questioned the ending.
On the whole I enjoyed reading this and would be interested to read other books by this author.

PetiteBateau Sat 18-Jul-15 21:27:39

I really enjoyed the outcast but gave up on this one halfway through

blogmumjd Sat 18-Jul-15 21:48:32

I've finished reading the book but it was a bit of a struggle as I wasn't gripped by the storyline, so I found it hard to focus. But on a positive note, it was very well-written.
You can read my full review on my blog

FernieB Sun 19-Jul-15 12:23:08

I also received a free copy of the book from MN (thanks). Like others above I have struggled with it. I found the the plot didn't really get going until around page 200 and by then I was largely fed up with the characters as I found them shallow and unlikeable.

It's a well written book with some lovely and vivid descriptions, but it's not really one for me. From reading other reviews it seems to be quite divisive - people either love it or find it tedious. I'm afraid I fall into the latter camp. It's just not my kind of book.

edwardrocks Sun 19-Jul-15 13:19:52

I was sent a copy by Mumsnet too. I enjoyed it, although I agree that the characters were not easy to like.

woodhill Mon 20-Jul-15 09:20:43

haven't read this one but enjoyed Small Wars and the guests story . outcast stayed with me and I was quite disturbed by it.

queenoftheschoolrun Mon 20-Jul-15 14:26:36

Thanks for my free copy. I loved The Outcast and really enjoyed the TV dramatization which has just been on too so I had high expectations of this book. Unfortunately this book didn't really do anything for me. It was ok, the relationships between Luke, Paul, Leigh and Nina were quite interesting, as was Nina's marriage, but it's not a book I can rave about.

I was expecting to find the theatre background interesting but I didn't really and none of the characters really gripped me like those in The Outcast.

Sorry to sound so negative. I wanted to enjoy it but in the end I was disappointed.

FernieB Mon 20-Jul-15 15:04:55

First question for Sadie!

Given the huge amount of theatrical background in this novel, do you have any theatre experience or did you have to do a lot of research?

FernieB Mon 20-Jul-15 15:09:30

Also, the pictures you paint of the 70's are quite vivid. As you were only small during the 70's, how did you manage to achieve such a real picture of life at that time?

mollkat Mon 20-Jul-15 16:35:18

Thank you for my copy MN - I am loving the Outcast on TV and currently half way through Fallout.
I am really enjoying it so far - and intrigued by DuchessofMalfi's comment about Paul and Leigh...
I am particularly enjoying the way the language flows differently depending on the character of the moment -the language around Luke's parts is staccato echoing his inability to sit calmly, whereas the language around Nina's parts is more dreamy but in a drugged rather than ethereal way and I am nervous every time she makes an appearance.
My question is, why this decade? Was it a time of particular theatrical relevance?

woodhill Mon 20-Jul-15 17:09:30

I have read Home Wars and The Outcast which are set in the 50s. The male characters of Hal and Lewis are very interesting and their interaction with their fathers. Where do you draw your ideas for the male characters in your novels. Have you had inspiration from your relatives anecdotes.


woodhill Mon 20-Jul-15 17:09:55

sorry Small Wars.

aginghippy Mon 20-Jul-15 18:08:46

Thanks for my copy MNHQ, I enjoyed the book.

I thought the writing was beautiful, echo what mollkat says about the language conveying the characters' inner state. Also the dialogue was really well done and conveyed a lot about the relationships. I loved the dialogue towards the end between Paul and his father. To me it conveyed the essence of parental love in just a few lines.

I also liked the period detail - Luke's typewriter, having to go outside to use phone boxes, people smoking everywhere, the casual drug-taking. It gives you a real feeling of being there.

The book is completely character-driven and I understand why it's not everyone's cup of tea. If you don't like/aren't interested in the characters, it's not going to do anything for you. I was interested in the flawed nature of all of the characters and that drew me in. Why do we hurt the people we love?

aginghippy Mon 20-Jul-15 18:12:40

I want to ask Sadie about the character of Tony. To me, Tony is completely evil, not just flawed the way the other main characters are.

How did you feel when you were imagining/writing Tony and the abusive relationship between Tony and Nina?

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