Left of the Bang

Claire Lowdon

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