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)
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!
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.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.