Ian McEwan – The Cockroach – Jonathan Cape / Vintage / Penguin Random House UK, 2019
A cockroach wakes up one morning in 10 Downing Street to find itself transformed into the British Prime Minister overnight. It then sets on to relentlessly pursue the highly controversial and utterly foolish policy of Reversalism (subtext: Brexit) which aims to achieve the capitalist wet dream of perpetual circulation by inverting the economy so that people begin receiving money instead of paying money when they go shopping and in turn must now pay their employers instead of receiving wages. This madcap scheme is to restore Britain’s former imperial glory and make it once again a global leader. Nonetheless, this fantasy can only become a reality if the rest of the world can be convinced to follow suit and adopt Reversalism, which seems rather unlikely…Written shortly before Brexit became an inevitability, this satirical novella is not only a timely critique of “post-truth politics” but also a witty and hilarious rendition of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Highly recommended!
Book Cover © Penguin Random House UK, 2019