Re: RARA-AVIS: David Peace

From: Stephen Holden (
Date: 06 May 2003

Got the following from 'The Observer' newspaper.

Stephen Holden


David Peace

The least 'literary' voice on the list, Peace has said that he never expected to publish his writings on the Yorkshire Ripper which grew out of an obsession with the dark side of the Yorkshire of his youth.


The four-part West Riding series on the Ripper case consists of novels titled 1974, 1977, 1980 and 1983.

In their own words: "Crime literature should be a perfect genre to explore these defining times, though the majority of British crime novels are a nonsense. Morse is a very safe world: you know he'll catch the bad guy at the end. How absurd to create this false picture of what reality is. Crime is not cosy, but brutal and destructive. It devastates people's lives."

"I can't sever my connection to Yorkshire. I was born there, I lived through these events. I couldn't write about anything else with the same honesty and compassion. I feel intense hate and love for Yorkshire. I can't seem to resolve those feelings."

The Observer says: David Peace would be horrified to have his work described as entertaining. His view is that since crime in reality affects people's lives in terrible ways, it shouldn't be treated lightly in crime fiction. And no one could say that his novels are light. It's black and moving but, pace Peace, it's also highly entertaining. But then crime fiction, at root, notwithstanding all the many claims for significance, is entertainment. Peter Guttridge

What others say: The pace is relentless, the violence gut-wrenching, the style staccato-plus and the morality bleak and forlorn, but Peace's voice is powerful and unique. This is compelling stuff that will leave no one indifferent. Maxim Jakubowski, The Guardian

Etienne Borgers wrote:

> I know very little about David Peace: he's British (originated from W.Y.,
> of course) and apparently he lives now in Japan.
> I probably overlooked the information available about this writer, but I do
> not remember anything more.
> Could somebody of R-A give a hand?

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