RARA-AVIS: David Peace

From: T.Kent Morgan ( tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 17 Aug 2002

Joy Matkowski said:

>Anyway, I've run out of on-hand new-to-me authors, although I still plan
>to acquire Peace and maybe some others.

David Peace's Nineteen Seventy Four was one UK Noir book I read during my recent trip to England and Wales. It's the book a Yorkshire Post reviewer wrote, "If there were never such a genre as Yorkshire noir, there is now." Written with almost complete dialogue and little description, it moved at a terrific pace, but I found the conclusion confusing. But that may be because I woke up in the middle of a Yorkshire night and read the last 10-15 pages. The style has been compared to James Ellroy. I can't go back and read the ending again because I left my copy for a recent university grad who is in the middle of the interview process for the South Yorkshire Police.

I was so impressed with Peace's first novel that I tracked down copies of the next two, Nineteen Seventy Seven and Nineteen Eighty, while in Hay-On-Wye. Finished Nineteen Seventy Seven Saturday. While the first book is told from the point of view of crime reporter Eddie Dunford, Peace has the reader learn about the deaths of several prostitutes in '77 through the eyes of Detective Sergeant Bob Fraser and journalist Jack Whitehead in alternating chapters. There are no "good guys" in this book that also left me somewhat confused at the end.

Hopefully, I won't raise the ire of the experts on this list when I call these books extremely hard-boiled. They should be read in order and I think I will wait awhile before I take on Nineteen Eighty.

I found my first editions (two TPBOs and one HC) in Bookends remainder stores so it might be worthwhile checking out their webpage if anyone is looking for copies.

Kent Morgan in Winnipeg

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