Re: RARA-AVIS: Peace

Date: 04 Jul 2002

john said, to Joy:
> Yes, the Peace novel form a quartet, 1974, 1977 and 1980 are already
> published, 1983 comes out later this year. 1977 is maybe the best of the
> three so far published, but they're all great and while they do work as
> stand alones you'll get more benefit from reading them in
> order.

I think Peace would be a great reccomendation for UK noir, because of the sustained excellence of the quartet, so far; and, I think, it really really succesfully conveys the atmosphere of England in the 70s-80s. Although far removed from Yorkshire, and not of an age to really understand what Prostitute really meant, I do have a very vivid memory of the case of the Yorkshire Ripper (Peter Sutcliffe) etched into my mind as a series of newspaper and TV headlines and images:- Sutcliffe's bearded, dishevelled photograph on capture (or anyway the one that was most commonly circulated), and grey rainy streets with grey faced policemen scurrying around, women saying they wouldn't go out at night. Even though in far away Gloucestershire at the time, I remember feeling scared for my mum. That photo of Sutcliffe probably has a similar effect on me as the infamous Bradey and Hindley photos of the mid-60s does on people of that age.

Peace obviously owes a debt to Ellroy, but his use of even more modern and controversial history (I remember an interview with him in which he said he knew there was more to come out on the controversial investigation of the case, but he was not the man to bring it out.) made his work even starker to me. He also followed an Ellroyesque style, in moving from fairly standard prose to a disjointed, jittery, staccatto style (a la Tabloid and Cold6k), which I am sure will provoke much discussion. Highly reccomended, very British (very Yorkshire even), very dark and very disturbing, enjoy. I read in the same interview that Mr Peace has now, 'done' Yorkshire and has married a Japanese woman and moved to Tokyo where he says he will continue to write, but in a new culture, the results should be interesting.

I'm not really sure where the best place to go to get background on the Ripper case (it's not really necessary, certainly not at the start of the series.) But maybe someone can reccomend a site - although not central and not essential the atmosphere of the time pervades the series.

Colin, open to correction.

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