When Jonathan Coe was a young novelist still undecided between biographies and novels he has written this strange book.
At that time Coe was clearly fascinated by The Smiths records, in fact all the chapters of The Dwarves of Death take their name from a Morrissey & co. song. Not to mention the italian translation of this book "Questa notte mi ha aperto gli occhi" which means "This night has opened my eyes"...
What about the novel? It speaks about copycat killings in London. It shows a parallel world of squattered buildings and poor musicians who try to survive in a London where the gap between the upper and the middle class is increasing.
But there are few signs here of the great capacity of Jonathan Coe to join the personal events of his sympathetic characters with the national political situation. This belongs to his coming future, which has more interesting novels to offer.
Anyway The Dwarves of Death has its decent moments.