Tam is struggling – to find her way in the competitive world of classical music, and to overcome her feelings for Chris, who she never thought she’d see again. Meanwhile, her ever-kind boyfriend, Callum is becoming more involved with his work as a primary school teacher. Leah, his flatmate, is trying to remain afloat in a world cluttered with unnecessary possessions, unhealthy food, and undesirable men. Chris is preparing to go to Afghanistan.
A Vanity Fair for her times, Lowdon has captured the foibles, hopes and difficulties of a certain strata of young London today better than any before her with sharp, satirical humour, unparalleled social observation, and great empathy.
Reviews of Left of the Bang
‘A remarkably compelling and shrewd look at the way we live now. Clear-eyed, audacious and disarmingly honest’ William Boyd
‘An unsparing and brilliantly realised novel … It’s hard to believe that this is Lowdon’s first novel, so assured is her satire and so penetrating the gaze she turns on her posh twentysomething’s metropolitan milieu … Her cast get uncomfortably under your skin, making Lowdon’s incendiary denouement real read-between-your-fingers stuff’ Daily Mail
‘Deeply impressive and accomplished … Lowdon charts the lives of a group of 20-somethings in London with sharpness and precision, with humour and insight, and with generous helpings of humanity … The writing is razor-sharp, excruciating in its honesty … [and] tempted this reader, upon finishing, to begin again from page one … A piece of fiction that is flawless’ Irish Times
‘An unflinchingly honest portrayal of Londoner life that reflects the complexities of navigating modern society with great empathy, style and humour … This book has been dubbed a Vanity Fair of our times and it’s a fair comparison … It is social observation at its very best with characters that are both painfully honest but also hilarious in their satirical humour … Tamsin Jarvis will resonate long after the final page is turned’ Stylist, ****
‘Write what you know, they say. Yet it’s a clever author who does just that and succeeds in offering insight … Lowdon takes time with the hopes and fears of each one, conjuring up a tension that builds painfully slowly … Lowdon uses sex to show the characters’ real selves … A smart and sober pronouncement on consequence’ The Times
‘The definitive novel of a generation of Londoners. So involved did I become in their lives, so closely did I feel I knew them, that the note of disquiet that carries through the pages like the eerie mewl of a tuning fork absolutely levelled me when finally it reached its full glass-shattering resonance three-quarters of the way through’ Gavin Corbett