Sebastian Faulks

Die Dismal Fog

Coasting

By

Collins 301pp £10.95 order from our bookshop

When the English racing driver Nigel Mansell won the 1986 British Grand Prix in front of thousands of cheering supporters and swept to the top of the drivers’ table, his post-race interview with the BBC’s stentorian Murray Walker contained no euphoria or shared congratulation; it concentrated on the fact that a last-minute switch of car had left him without a water bottle. ‘How do you feel?’ bellowed Walker. ‘I’m really tired,’ whined Mansell. ‘And I couldn’t have a drink of water.’ Now, after his talented but gloomy first novel Foreign Land, Jonathan Raban has produced in Coasting a sustained circuminsular whinge that threatens to confirm him as the Nigel Mansell of English letters.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,
    • The author 'seethes with contemptuous indignation at the shiny junk that an unregulated construction industry dumps… ,
    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,
    • 'All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And t… ,
    • 'You are interested in a particular subject; basic research hardens this interest into an obsession, after which th… ,