The Rain before it falls by Jonathan Coe


Jonathan Coe has had me rolling in the aisles in his previous books (The Rotters Club, House of Sleep and What a Carve up) and I’m grateful to Ian Dommett for pointing me in his direction; so The Rain Before It Falls really took me off guard.

For a start, it’s not funny, not funny at all.

And then, I’m not entirely convinced it’s well written.  Or is it brilliantly written?

Let me explain.

It’s entirely narrative, in the style of a memoir from an ‘ordinary person’ (persons actually) and so is not about flashy prose.

I cannot honestly work out if this is the book’s great strength (it held me and it was a page turner from start to finish) or dissapointed me in the extreme. (It’s kind of so banal.)

So, I’d welcome elucidation.

The premise is interesting enough; dying old lady reveals life of lesbianism and occasional fostering of neices and blind kids, her life is unfulfilled so she tops herself but not before instigating a mini detective story searching for a strangely loved potential benefactor.

It’s odd.

Is it good?

Dunno.

Did I enjoy it?

Actually…yes.

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