John Lanchester: “Expectations”

by John Lanchester
Originally published in the January 9, 2012 issue of The New Yorker.

I am, obviously, getting behind here. The culprit is work. I have been at the office from the wee hours of the morning until the wee hours of the morning for some time now, and I haven’t had a second to catch up. While there are a few more days that promise to be just as bad this week, there should still be some time to catch up on sleep and on my reading / reviewing. Until then . . .

4 thoughts on “John Lanchester: “Expectations”

  1. Don’t have much to add here that I haven’t already said back on my site (, but I’ll encourage you to quickly catch up on reading this one, too. The New Yorker has been off to a good start in 2012 (though I’ve probably just jinxed them), and I found myself rather enjoying the twin guns of sincerity and snark that Lanchester brought to his upper-class targets in this simultaneously sympathetic and enraging depiction of people who are, quite frankly, living in a differently world than most of us. (Is their awareness of this good or bad?)

  2. I hated this about as much as one can hate a story. Why should anyone want to read about two such completely despicable monsters? It’d be one thing if social satire about the vapidity, materialism and stressfulness of social striving was even remotely new. But it isn’t. Thus we spend 7 pages with two people who in a just world would be publically tarred and feathered.

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