It was with a degree of surprise that I realised last night I hadn’t read any Ian McEwan for a long time – something which was accompanied by a recognition that I needed to read more. The catalyst? “The Cockroach”: a sublimely unfiltered, undisguised and scathing satire on the state of UK politics – and Brexit in particular: Leave vs. Remain, ‘red’ vs. ‘blue’, truth vs. lies. And even though the focus is on the British Parliamentary system, the EU and the US fail to escape Scott-free.
There is a superb and disturbing example of ‘fake news’ and the power of lies and the media, which leads powerfully and succinctly to a question about the nature of truth – something that McEwan sets up economically and quickly, and then slaps us in the face with.
“The Cockroach” is a slim book and one that demands to be read in a single sitting. I did. Indeed, once you start it, I defy you to put it down – especially if you’re from the UK and, like 90% of the population, completely fed-up with the last three years of stagnant, vacuous and tribal politics. Even if you’re not, you should read this little gem!
And if you are a member of HM Government or in one of the Opposition parties, you have even more reason to read it – because, on one level, this is how a lot of the population probably thinks of you!
The clue is in the title…!!