The authors’ method is objective and scientific, so that the human distress behind their statistics mostly remains hidden. But when they quote from interviews conducted by social researchers, passion and resentment flood into their book. A working-class man in Rotherham tells of the shame he felt having to sit next to a middle-class woman (“this stuck-up cow, you know, slim, attractive”); how he felt overweight and started sweating; how he imagined her thinking, “listen, low-life, don’t even come near me. We pay to get away from scum like you”. In half a page it tells you more about the pain of inequality than any play or novel could
I Guardian finns en smula kritik, dock inte av boken, utan av Japan och Sverige:
One question that comes to mind is whether the world's most equal developed nations, Japan and Sweden, make sufficient allowance for individuals to express themselves without being regarded as a threat to the health of the collective. Critics of the two societies would argue that both make it intensely difficult for individual citizens to protest against the conformity both produced by, and required to sustain, equality.