“A skilful road rage novel looks at Britain through a motorway microcosm”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
I picked Jam as one of the books for the Foxy Book Shelf Summer Reading List as I’m a big fan of this genre of contemporary fiction, and Jam certainly fills the criteria with a Ben Eltonesque look at the nation through the lens of something most of us have to ensure on a daily basis. The novel starts with a setting the scene type dash around London before finally settling on the M25 as the traffic slows and finally comes to a complete halt. The writing is beautiful and for the first ten chapters at least I found it hard to put down.
The characterisations of British life are pretty spot on and this novel really captures the zeitgeist. Authors often shy away from anchoring tomes to dates, but Jake Wallis Simons dives right in to the moment with a book that feels as though it were written yesterday. This could possibly mean it won’t age well, although it may serve as an accurate portrayal of the days we’re living through, shut in our cocoons, scared to interact with the outside world.