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Nineteen Seventy-Seven: The Red Riding Quartet, Book Two (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – May 5, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Red Riding Quartet Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“David Peace is transforming the genre with passion and style.”—George Pelecanos“This is the future of British crime fiction. . . . Extraordinary and original.” —Time Out“Simply superb. . . . Peace is a masterful storyteller, and Nineteen Seventy-Seven is impossible to put down. . . . A must-read thriller.” —Yorkshire Post “Peace's powerful novel exposes a side of life which most of us would prefer to ignore.” —Daily Mail

About the Author

David Peace is the author of The Red Riding Quartet, GB84,The Damned Utd and Tokyo Year Zero. He was chosen as one of Granta's 2003 Best Young British Novelists, and has received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the German Crime Fiction Award, and the French Grand Prix de Roman Noir for Best Foreign Novel. Born and raised in Yorkshire, he has lived in Tokyo since 1994.
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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307455092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307455093
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #511,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
David Peace's first novel, Nineteen seventy four was a story with roots in working class English literature. The central character, Eddy, a journalist, became embroiled in police corruption, and a sordid series of child murders. The novel was set in Yorkshire, written in the first person, and explored the underside of an area that months later saw the start of a vicious series of sexual murders committed by Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper". This was a promising debut. That promise starts to be fulfilled with the second volume in Peace's West Yorkshire Quartet, Nineteen Seventy Seven.
In this novel Peace raises his work a notch. He has produced one of the finest British crime novels of recent years, and in his quartet of novels looks set to produce one of the finest series since Ellroy's Dudley Smith novels.
The narrative in Nineteen Seventy Seven focuses on two characters, Jack Whitehead, a journalist; and Bob Fraser, a police sergeant. Both characters appeared in Nineteen Seventy Four. Both are haunted by the shocking conclusion to the earlier novel. Their stories are set against the backdrop of the Sutcliffe murders, and the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
Each strand is written in first person narrative, and for the most part the plot lines run parallel, although Fraser and Whitehead meet and exchange information. There are some stylistic similarities between the two strands (both have astream of consciousness feel) but for the most part the characters are sufficiently differentiated. While the strands run parallel there are some similarities in their development. For example, both are, or become, involved with prostitutes at a time when those prostitutes in West Yorkshire feared for their lives due to the Sutcliffe murders.
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Format: Paperback
Following on from his spectacular first novel- "1974" which dealt with a series of child abductions and murders; 1977 is about the "Yorkshire Ripper" and a series of prostitution murders and mutilations. The two main characters are brought over from the first novel. Jack Whitehead, the 'Reporter of the Year' in "1974" is even more of a drunken wreck than he was three years before. Bob Fraser was a cop who worked on the first serial murders and now is working on the "Yorkshire Ripper" murders.

The "Ripper's" MO is to knock them out with blows to the head from a ball-peen hammer, and then he attacks their bodies with a philips screw- driver. Both men are involved with prostitute, as it seems is half of the police constabulary of Leeds and surrounding town where the murders occur. Fraser's is an ongoing relationship that is tangential to many of the murders and assaults that have occurred. Whitehead gets involved with one of the woman who survived the assault.

We are taken through the grisly murders and the abuse of suspects by both the police and at times, each other. If that sounds confusing, try reading the book. Peace has a very strange style to say the lease. He has each of his two narrators (Fraser and Whitehead) speak in the first person, and sometimes it's two or three pages before you can tell who's speaking. At other places he writes as train of thought (by the character) and you have a paragraph(?) that can run for pages without a period. Reading some parts of the book is like running, you can actually feel your heart rate speed-up. Quite the book.

Read it yourself and determine your own opinion.

Zeb Kantrowitz
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Format: Kindle Edition
Having found Nineteen Seventy-Four: The Red Riding Quartet, Book One (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) totally gripping, I was keen to read the second in the Red Riding Quartet. Having finished it, I am somewhat at a loss of how to describe it. The second book, much like the first, is almost like a written nightmare - dark, shocking, savage, violent and vicious. The novel is narrated by two characters from the previous book - Sergeant Bob Fraser and veteran reporter Jack Whitehead.

We are back in the seventies and it is the time of the Yorkshire Ripper. Bob Fraser is assigned to the squad investigating the Ripper murders, sent to see whether an earlier murder could be tied in to the case. Clare Strachan was murdered, but a link is unearthed to the murders in 1974, causing old nightmares to return in this almost surreal rampage around the North of England. Driving through the dark landscape, mentions of the Moors Murderers make a dark story even harsher, alongside Jack's visions of murdered women in his room and Bob Fraser's obsession with a prostitute he fears being killed, but is unable to protect. Again we have police corruption, scenes of interrogations which turn into torture, fear and darkness. Having said that, I can't wait to read the next book Nineteen Eighty (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard); they are thoroughly unpleasant and utterly compelling.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased 1974 and 1977 at the same time, so I don't know whether that counts as one mistake or two mistakes. After finishing 1974 thoroughly unrewarded and feeling a bit puzzled by favorable reviews that praised David Peace in words usually reserved for Charles Dickens, I nevertheless launched into 1977 in the belief that it must surely be a better read. WRONG.

I reviewed 1974 and gave it two stars. 1977 would get one-half a star if I could manage it. Perhaps the author's intent is to progressively make this series more bleak and more depressing as the calendar races forward through the years. He expands his stream of consciousness style by use of dream sequences that allows him to create ever more bizarre images. Throughout, of course, he clutters the text with streams of the F word from every character with no apparent purpose.

I have no plans to visit Leeds or Yorkshire but now have plans to avoid the place at all costs. Everyone these is several bricks shy of a full load and full of vice and delusion. The ending of the book brought me, finally, to use the F word myself. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, David Peace proved me wrong.

Why did I finish these books, books I find so distasteful? Good question. I have no answer other than a curiosity much like someone dissecting a pig in a Biology class.
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