Jeanette Garland, missing Castleford, July 1969. Susan Ridyard, missing Rochdale, March 1972. Claire Kemplay, missing Morley, since yesterday. It’s winter, 1974, Yorkshire, Christmas bombs, Lord Lucan on the run, the Bay City Rollers, and Eddie Dunford’s got the job he wanted – crime correspondent for the Yorkshire Evening Post. He didn’t know it was going to be a season in hell. A dead little girl with a swan’s wings stitched into her back. A gypsy camp in a ring of fire. Corruption everywhere you look.
In Nineteen Seventy Four, David Peace brings passion and stylistic bravado to this terrifyingly intense journey into a secret history of sexual obsession and greed, and starts a highly acclaimed crime series that has redefined how the genre is approached.
David Peace (born 1967) is an English author. He was named one of the Best of Young British Novelists by Granta in 2003 and won the 2004 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. He is also known for his novels GB84 and The Damned United; the latter was made into a feature film starring Michael Sheen.
*Please note this audiobook contains explicit language.
©2000 David Peace (P)2010 Audible
"Nineteen Seventy Four is raw and furiously alive, the literary equivalent of a hard right to the jaw. David Peace has delivered the finest crime fiction debut of the year and joined a select group of novelists who are transforming the genre with passion and style." (George Pelecanos)
"Quite simply, this is the future of British crime fiction." (Time Out)
"The pace is relentless, the style staccato-plus and the morality bleak and forlorn....Peace's voice is powerful and unique." (Guardian)
An excellent work from a writer with an original voice. I notice there have been a great many complaints about the "swearing and cursing", but the whole point of Peace's gritty realism is surely (as the author has said himself) that violence and death and the circumstances surrounding them should not be sanitized. They are awful things.
As to the grimness, well, this is what life was like in the North of England in 1974. I remember. And when working class people have their backs against the wall there are even more expletives than usual... plus the Brits swear *a lot* in the natural course of things.
Myself, I can't wait for the rest of the series - and Audible... where have Mr Peace's books disappeared to? A lot of us want more... not to have the Quartet shelved (to my dismay I can't even find the first two books - which I've bought - in Audible's listings any more) presumably because a few people say they are "personally offended" by all the swearing, and asking (rather cheekily) if the characters are speaking English?! Rather juvenile criticisms, to say the least.
What happened to free speech? And besides, the rest of the world deals very cheerfully with American accents from all the states in the US - indeed the accents usually enrich the work. I think in fairness that the same courtesy should be extended to the British Isles.
My question now, Audible, is where is the rest of the Red Riding Quartet? Bring it on! Please... It's first class stuff, and some of us are hooked on it.
I am a retired UK police officer, and this novel takes place at a time when I was serving.
When I read policiers, entertaining though they are, the coppers are rarely anything like the smelly, sexist, cussing, fighting fellers I worked with.
The coppers, and the journos in this book, are perfectly drawn. This is exactly what policing was like in those times.
Quite brilliantly written, not a word wasted, and spoken in the vernacular of the time. Chilling, accurate and entertaining.
This is exceptional writing. Any fan of James Ellroy will find much to enjoy here. Profane, obscene, crude, horrific - with all that said it is a top-notch story and brilliantly written. Not for everyone, as the other reviews note, but if you are willing to face an absolutely bleak world filled with nasty characters, you will get your money's worth here. Everything about this book is vicious - including the sexuality, but all in all more realistic and better drawn than the gratuitous sex scenes thrown in to far to many contemporary works.
More like Silence of the Lambs. Although I'm not offended by graphic sex and violence and the use of the *F* word, there is a self consciousness or heavy handedness about its over use that just doesn't ring true. This keeps a gripping and troubling story from being 5 stars in my opinion.
This is my first exposure to David Peace and his writing style. I read the other reviews so I had an idea of what to expect. I was immediately drawn in to this world of corruption, secrecy, violence, brutality, and ugliness. He tells the story unapologetically, in no-holds-barred detail. It made me nauseous at times, but I could not put it down. It is not an easy listen, in that the subject matter is graphic, disturbing, and raw. All this said, I would listen again... now. This is a story that will stay long after the listen. It is not for everyone, but it is certainly one I would recommend to anyone looking for a graphic, realistic picture of a horrific world that most of us, thankfully, know nothing about. I look forward to the remainder of the Quartet being offered. If it takes too long, I may have to resort to reading them!
Ignore the criticisms from listeners who couldn't stand the cussing. If you're interested in listening to a series of books that transcend the usual crime fiction genre, this is it. It's literature in the best sense of the word. Aspects of the story are truly ugly and the descriptions are visceral, but it's a work of art. The swearing is a necessary part of the language used by the characters and isn't over-the-top. I'm British and I spent years living in Yorkshire, so I'm sensitive to whether or not the language in a book is an accurate reflection of how people really speak. I found it to be right on target. If you're offended by it, you'd probably be better off downloading some Agatha Christie. I've listened to the entire series of four books, which need to be heard together in succession as they intertwine and illuminate each other. This is truly a great work of modern British literature.
An excellent book that keeps you listening. Those complaining of the language clearly have no experience of working class England and especially "The North" in the 1970's. This is how real people speak - get over it.
It is brutal, it is graphic and that is why it is important. It is not a nice clean, factual report on a crime. Its a nasty first hand, first person account of the emotions and affects that violent crime and corruption have on a community and society at large. Great writing by Peace and an excellent narration by Saul Reichlin.
The Channel 4 series of these books - turned into 3 movies for the US - are also excellent.
A few months in the life of an ambitious but angry journalist who hates himself caught up in a gruesome child murder in Yorkshire. And that's just the first ten minutes. Much like a James Ellroy novel, everyone in this book is corrupt with the possible exception of the main character's Mother. It is written in a semi-stream-of-consciousness style that gives it an edge very few books have. I just finished it tonight and I can honestly say that, even though I'm not sure who did what to whom (I did listen to this at work, so perhaps I might have missed a few details) I actually didn't care because it was so well written and well read I could have listened to it for a year.
I will definately be downloading the other three books in this series as soon as my new credits are available.
A word to the warning however: Up until now Mo Hayder's "The Treatment" has been my gauge for shock, violence and just plain sickness in a book but Peace has beaten her hands down. This is not a book for the casual crime fiction reader, it is extremely violent and graphic. And if you don't like swearing than this is DEFINATELY not the book for you, I'm pretty there isn't a solid three minutes in this book without the f-word.
FORTY SOMETHING THUG FOR HIRE WHO ENJOYS A GOOD BOOK.
I STILL REMEMBER WHEN JAMES ELLROY BURST ONTO THE CRIME FICTION SHELVES WITH THE BLACK DAHLIA, THEN JUST GOT BETTER AND BETTER WITH EACH NEW NOVEL IN WHAT FINALLY MADE UP HIS L.A. QUARTET. THIS, DAVID PEACE IS ANOTHER ONE I'LL BE REMEMBERING YEARS FROM NOW. HE HAS THE WHOLE INNER MONOLOGUE STYLE LOCKED DOWN TIGHT; AND WHAT ELLROY DID FOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS, PEACE DOES FOR NEWS PAPER JOURNALISM. THIS A ROUGH AND GRITTY RIDE THROUGH THE DARK SIDE OF CRIME,AND DEFINETLY NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH. THE NARRATOR, TOO, DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB BRINGING THE MATERIAL TO LIFE. CAN'T WAIT TO LISTEN TO THE REST OF THE SERIES.
The four books that comprise this series, "1974", "1977," "1980," and "1983," are some of the best works of crime fiction I've read. They're "gritty," incredibly emotional, quite often brutal, but absolutely stellar works of literature. They follow a series of crimes which occur in Yorkshire during the 70s and the effects it has not just on the victims, but survivors, police, journalists, and others.
Don't make the mistake of purchasing these books if you're looking for an Agatha Christie "cozy." Don't buy them if you have difficulty with excessive profanity. The sex is often ugly and the violence truly horrifying, which is probably very close to the realities of prostitution, corruption, and serial murder. Expect to be hit over the head with it.
"When?s the next instalment?!"
As a regular listener to thriller titles, this came as a real surprise. A lot darker and grittier than I expected. Character development and scene setting, really add to the plot and immerse you in the atmosphere of the time. Not for the more sensitive listener, but the dialogue really adds to the effect. I found myself engrossed and am very excited by the prospect of 3 more instalments, bring it on!
"Stunning, Horrible, Gripping, and Awful"
I'm from Wakefield, grew up in the seventies, and this book captures what it was like to live in that desolate, dying part of of the West Riding during those horrible, dark, dark times.
We've moved on, thankfully, in some ways. Coppers are less likely to be in the pockets of businessmen (I hope), life is not the struggle it was back then, and you and you are not nearly so likely to be beaten up for having the wrong bike/clothes/hairstyle etc. But it's all here, casual violence to strangers because they are different, the nasty men, and nasty times. Eddie is often listening to the radio in his Viva, but no matter what was on, the feeling I had through out this book was the same as the darker parts of the Specials back catalogue. A decade too early, but spot on.
Other reviewers have complained about the use of the F word in it, but in that grotty little bit of West Yorkshire that's certainly how I remember it. Shouted across the street, screamed at each other and used in place of most of the rest of the English language, especially the more emotive parts, the F word was everywhere.
The plot is a slow burner but the finale is excellent. A great listen, let down a little by the frankly very poor accent of Saul Reichlin.
"So Dark You Need the Light on!"
Originally I was going to rate this novel 3, but powerful ending changed my mind. This book is not for the squeamish, it is graphic and contains extremely bad language, so much so that one becomes blunted by it. It is a fairly deep novel and very sad on a number of levels. In an interview with the author David Peace at the end of the book, he says that he thought that the TV series Red Riding was better than his book(s). I have to disagree, this is a very powerful novel and stands alone although part of a quartet of stories. If you watched the TV Series it is similar but not the same, so your enjoyment will not be spoilt. Saul Reichlin's narration is brilliant, and like the Millenium Trilogy he brings all the characters to life. I was going to leave a gap of a couple of months before downloading the next book, but cracked and downloaded 1977 directly I had finished listening.
It was a good, gripping story and very retro being set in the 70s. It brought back memories from my childhood and a good reminder of how different life was before mobile phones and pcs etc,etc!! What I couldn't cope with was the rhyming passages within the book. I really don't know whether they were intented by the author and you would naturally have rhymed along too if read in book form or the narrator put his slant on it?!! Because I did want to know what happened in the end, that stoppped me from erasing it from my mp3! It was an interesting conclusion.
"Brilliant Listen Brilliant Book"
Cannot believe the slating this is getting! I found David Peace's quadrilogy after watching the shortened trilogy on Channel 4. All four books where very good; as is usually the case books are better. I would never describe them as an easy read (but nothing worthwhile is easy) and also the violence is very brutal to say the least; but that?s what the books are about what do people expect when reading about the Yorkshire Ripper!!!! I remember the news reports from back then and we all now know just how incompetent the investigation was so this spin on things by David Peace is very believable. Also after having read all 4 books previously I was a little bit apprehensive about listening to the Audio versions, but they where I have to say much better then I expected and really glad I did. Something worth mentioning also is that there is an interview with David Peace at the end and this was also very good.
I found this audiobook very tedious. Having persevered with the first five hours, I listened to the second half at 2x speed rather than admit defeat. The story proceeded so slowly without any feeling of tension or threat that I was unable to escape into the world it was attempting to portray. At several points I felt such frustration with Eddie Dunford who is, I presumed, supposed to be an ambitious young man, that I was almost pleased when he was beaten by corrupt policemen. I hesitate to complain about the narration after Saul Reichlin's performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but the aspiring young journalist sounded much too old. I also found the incessant use of the f word an unnecessary distraction lacking any dramatic effect..
"A bleak miserable book"
This is the worst audible book I have downloaded. The language is not so much strong as monotonously repetitive. The narrator supposedly a journalist might have been expected to have a slightly greater command of the English language. The plot is convoluted without being adequately explained. The violence and sex are gratuitous and, unlike say Stiegg Larsson, voyeuristic rather than crucial to the plot. A bleak miserable book.
"Dont download this..."
I couldnt agree more with the two previous reviews. I downloaded this to take on holiday and was bored to tears with the slow moving plotline, confusing narrative and ridiculous over use of the F word. Not good at all. sorry.
Downloaded this book to listen to on a long haul flight but was very extremely disappointed. It's a very slow developing story with every other sentence littered with the F word. I managed to endure it for four hours (because I had nothing else to do).
"Darker than the inside of a coal miners wallet"
Maybe in a few years once I have recovered from the experience
Unremittingly dark and bleak, I think this is a unique experience but probably not for everyone. If you are tired of standard crime genre fiction, brilliant outsider detective solves serial killer blah blah, this is worth a listen. It is much more in the vein of Jim Thomson, where all the protagonists are flawed and their motivations are unclear. The writing can be a bit experimental in places (not Will Self standard) with some repetition of key phrases and changing of direction mid sentence, occasionally it will be unclear what section of the book is from which characters viewpoint (although you will probably figure this out in the end). I enjoyed this as it adds to whole confusing, claustrophobic, trapped up north atmosphere of the book.
All the characters are memorable (BJ especially), but the one weakness of the recording is the narrators inability to do the regional accents well. Having said that he does a great job of narrating but this is due to the emotional timbre of his voice and investment in the text.
I felt a bit shell-shocked upon finishing the quartet and have not reacted to a book(s) this strongly for a long time.
Not a straightforward listen, but remarkable and very different to anything else out there.
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