Early nineteenth-century France had Balzac, we have Tim Pears' – The Times For John, a potato isn't just a staple food, it's also something wondrous, the secret of his success and the key to the future. With his brother, Greg, he has turned his father's greengrocery business into Spudnik, Britain's largest dealer in potatoes. Now he wants to change the world by introducing, through potatoes, edible vaccines: plants genetically modified to provide an edible alternative to injections.But as John spins round and round the ring road avoiding his turn off to work he has to figure out how to tell his brother that deep in the Venezuelan jungle, volunteers have died during the latest illegal trials. Deaths that they have to find some way to hide. WAKE UP is a book about our times, and how we are hurtling, almost silently, into a new age with implications that are unfathomable. Funny, fluent, and provocative it is a major new novel from one of our finest contemporary writers. WAKE UP is a book about our times, and how we are hurtling, almost silently, into a new age with implications that are unfathomable.