Two Tribes by Chris Beckett

Two Tribes

Chris Beckett

Two Tribes is almost certainly a book to get you thinking and questioning your own ideas. Using the 2016 Brexit referendum as the pivot, the story challenges the opinions of the characters and points at a divided society in the future. Whilst the referendum is the key event, this thought-provoking book has more to say about the tribal nature of beliefs and how these become entrenched.


This doesn't feel like my country any more. Harry remembered a tedious old man on a coach journey many years ago who'd said those words, after a very long and bitter story in a dreary Midlands voice about how the street he'd lived in all his life had once been full of people like himself but now, except for him and his wife, was entirely populated by Bangladeshis. But Phil was so mellowed by beer and by the arrival of their beef sandwiches that he just grunted and let Harry's point rest. In fact, the sandwiches were so delicious that even Harry, who never talks about food, pauses to comment on them in his diary. For several minutes they munched in contented silence.

'There are all kinds of funny inversions and contradictions these days,' Harry finally said when the sandwiches were gone and had been washed down. 'Like, for instance, we liberal types still don't forgive Mrs Thatcher for destroying coal-mining communities in the eighties but when Trump says he wants to help the coal industry in Kentucky we all groan.' 

'Oh, come on, Harry. Coal is a relic of the past. Everyone knows that. In fact, that's a perfect example of what I was talking about. Trump was cynically getting votes by pretending that an obsolete industry could be protected indefinitely.' 

'Okay, but "You can't protect an obsolete industry against the modern world" is pretty much exactly what Thatcher said, wasn't it?' 

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Explicit sexual content