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Dan Leno And The Limehouse Golem Paperback – 5 Jun 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (5 Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749396598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749396596
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Dickens, Blake and Thomas More and of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River. Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature's William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.

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Review

"Mesmerising, macarbre and totally brilliant" (Daily Mail)

"He has pulled off the greatest coup of all, a four-square crime novel...as aesthetically satisfying as it is morally shocking" (Independent on Sunday)

"Knowledge fuels psychosis, but in Ackroyd's hands it also fuels a flawlessly good read" (Observer)

"This brilliant novel pervades the midnight movies of the mind and makes the blood run chilly" (Daily Mail)

Book Description

‘Mesmerising, macabre and totally brilliant’ Daily Mail

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 May 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a psychological murder-mystery thriller set in Victorian London. It's far better than the usual historical novels - Ackroyd makes you feel almost as if you're there by piling up an accumulation of small physical details- the smell, the taste, the colours, the sounds of the period. His ear for dialogue and his depth of knowledge are very impressive too. Plots aren't ALWAYS his strong point, but the plot of this is good, subtle and complex, peripherally drawing in major 19th century figures like Karl Marx and George Gissing.
The narrative piles on details until eventually the strands gather together and you realise you've somehow become drawn into the mind of a psychopath.
I'm not keen usually on murder or horror - and I find some of the details repellent. But artistically they are necessary, and they work very well indeed. I highly recommend this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Samuel on 3 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a fantastic read. I would recommend this to anyone. This book is chilling and twisted and engaging and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through. Set against the background of poverty-stricken Victorian London and particularly following actors in the music halls, "Dan Leno & The Limehouse Golem" is an psychologically disturbing and wonderfully macabre book - with a really great twist that you never see coming...!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Philip Spires on 26 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Dan Leno And The Limehouse Golem is quite simply a masterpiece. Every aspect of the novel is remarkable. It's a whodunit, though it suggests a couple of credible suspects right at the start. It even convicts its central character to death by hanging before we have even got to know her. Clearly things are not going to be obvious. The novel is also a study in character, especially that of its central actor, Lambeth Marsh Lizzie, later Mrs Elizabeth Cree. It's also an evocation of London in the late nineteenth century, complete with colours, smells, vistas and perspectives. It's a highly literary work, ever conscious of its place beside the genres it skirts. Overall, it's a wonderful example of how form can be used as inventively as plot to create a story.

The novel has a series of interlocking stands. In one our anti-heroine, Lizzie, is accused of the murder of John Cree, her husband. In another, John Cree's diary reveals certain secrets that not only he would have wanted to hide. In a third strand, we learn of Lambeth Marsh Lizzie's past, how she came to a life in the theatre and how she met her husband. A fourth strand follows the career of Dan Leno, a music hall player, worshipper of the silent clown Grimaldi and mentor of Lizzie's stage life. And in a fifth strand we see how, in a great city like London, our paths inevitably cross those of great thinkers, writers, artists and, of course, history itself. Peter Ackroyd thus has his characters cross the paths of a writer, George Gissing, and a thinker of note, one Karl Marx, as they tramp the streets of Limehouse after a day at the library.

As usual, sex has a lot to do with the relationships in the book. It is usually on top, but here it also comes underneath and sometimes on the side of events.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. Shutt on 9 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
I started off reading this book wondering if it was going to be too 'bitty' Each chapter seemed to be written by and about someone different. But as I got in to it I found it all made perfect sense and flowed wonderfully from one part to the next. Even though I had a feeling I knew how it was going to end it still had me glued to the book. The ending was so well written I was left wanting to read it again. I didn't want to leave the world he had created and the people I'd got to know.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By venia_19@yahoo.com on 15 Dec. 2000
Format: Hardcover
It all starts with the trial of a young woman accused of murder,everybody thinks she has killed her husband.The story goes on and we are brought back in time in order to discover the past of this woman.Her life has been a difficult one,she was a very poor woman with a sick mother to take care of.While a narrator is telling the story of her life we are in front of terrible and brutal killings,all of them commited by night.This novel is a very interesting one the thing that made me love this book is that arriving at the end you realize that all you had read until then has been different...............
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 24 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
I won't waste words; it doesn't get much better then this. However, as one reviewer above has noted, please don't expect a mystery in the traditional format. Not to be condescending, but I rather suspect that the intended mystery is (as in all Ackroyd's fiction) the mystery of London itself. Endlessly interlocking patterns of history and personality...cheap revelations aren't really what this is all about!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an extremely good example of what I'd call 'a thinking man's crime novel' (mind you, I can immensely enjoy 'easy' novels too). This is no easy reading, and at times you'll wonder who the criminals or even the crimes really are, but in return what you get is an astounding story with an incredibly atmospheric description of London in the 1880s, mixing historical and fictional characters. I loved it from the first page to the last!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
I won't waste words; it doesn't get much better then this. However, as one reviewer above has noted, please don't expect a mystery in the traditional format. Not to be condescending, but I rather suspect that the intended mystery is (as in all Ackroyd's fiction) the mystery of London itself. Endlessly interlocking patterns of history and personality...cheap revelations aren't really what this is all about!
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