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.
"Hard work, thought provoking but engrossing."
Yes, this book is hard work to listen to. It's dark, depressing and without any real light relief. None of the characters are likeable and the plot and action is often left un-described for you to fill in the blanks.
It's a story you have to work at understanding, but ultimately it's worth it. This book is a great illustration of 70's life in Yorkshire, and the corruption at the heart of everything. I'm looking forward to finishing the other 3 titles and watching the TV adaptation. However, 1974 stands on its own as really interesting and challenging read.
It will not leave you with a smile on your face, but it will challenge you in many different ways. Stick with it and you'll be rewarded.
great there is a story to follow,enjoyed the book from start to finish.the narrator brings the people to life.could not wait to download second book.
"Waste of money"
In some passages it's obvious that he's a talented writer but he's not there yet. Repeating the f word eight times in a row doesn't make this book gritty - it renders it boring. Very disappointing, not often I give up on a book.
"I did not enjoy this at all"
Could hardly bear to listen to the whole of this but hate leaving things unfinished. Think this was supposed to be gritty and northern but after I had become totally desensitised to the abundant use of f*** and c*** and detailled accounts of sex in all forms (which was intially distracting and then just irritating)I found this book to be generally poorly written and badly concieved, and myself lacking in any empathy whatsoever with any of the rather unpleasant characters involved.If I'd had the option of giving it no stars I would have done.
"very good but be careful - Wrexford this ain't"
If you are looking for a murder mystery along the whodunnit pattern then look elsewhere. These books are dark and nasty. There are few if any redeeming characters. The grotty underbelly of human nature is exposed in all its horridness. The prose is vicious, the language very very strong and the subject as nasty as the crimes it was influenced by. Listening to them is not likely to cheer you up or even entertain you. However, they are very, very good.
"Gritty Off-Beat Crime Novel Set In Leeds"
David Peace's books can be a bit challenging, but are well worth the extra effort they require of the reader (or listener). This book is the first of the four book 'Red Riding' quartet and I thoroughly enjoyed it, gruesome though it is.
Saul Reichlin, who did a brilliant job, narrating Steig Larsson's 'Millennium' trilogy, has a slightly dodgy west Yorkshire accent, but one soon gets used to it.
I'm looking forward to listening to the next three books.
This is easily a five-star listen.
Read the reviews and was strongly attracted to this first novel in 'The Red Riding Quartet'. Have read many many crime fiction novels but this was such a disappointment. Enjoyed the creative style but was quickly bored by the gratuitous violence and the obtuseness of the plot. I grew up in England in that period and whilst it was pretty dire this stuff was not at all convincing. Won't be going back for more at this stage.
This author seems unaware that it's not necessary to ascribe to journalists the repeated use profane language to convey the idea that they might be less than polite in their private moments. It's a decent enough plot line. Young provincial journalist on the make is determined to get his own by-line and thinks he knows it all, but although the book is read competently enough, it is completely spoiled by the frequency with which the f-word is uttered by the main character and his acquaintances. As a result, it's difficult to listen to. The author ought to read the works of people like Robert Harris and Ian Rankin to learn how convey a sense of reality without repetitive coarseness. He might also learn that the use of profanity can sometimes be comical, but there's no evidence that that's his aim here. In my opinion this audiobook is poor value for money and I regret buying it.
"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.
"A new master of the art"
David Peace adds a new level to the thriller genre. His dark, depressing and gritty take on the Yorkshire of my youth made my stomach crawl and made me despair for mankind's future. Yet I was addicted and I've now downloaded 1977. A new master of the art and one I'll be following closely.
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