The Cockroach | Ian McEwan

Coping with Brexit through humour

This novel takes a satirical look at Brexit and the populism surrounding it. It is quite humorous in its descriptions of politicians' day-to-day and a quick read. Its ties to Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis are loose and only extend to mirroring the opening lines describing a human-insect-transformation. Neither the writing style nor the explored topics are very Kafkaesque.

The focus is disappointingly shallow, namely the politicians and the absurdity of their politics and behaviour. How exactly this fits with (the will of) the people is not explored to a satisfying conclusion. After reading—as before—we are wondering how such a thing as Brexit could happen and why the politicians went through with it and why the people voted for it.

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