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East End Gangland Paperback – 6 Sep 2001

11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (6 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751530050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751530056
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A refreshing change from those that examine only the life of the Kray family. A fascinating read (SUNDERLAND ECHO)

A fascinating look behind closed lock-up doors...a book that will prove essential reading for anyone who thinks they know East London. (EVENING STANDARD)

Morton's account...destroys quaint ideas about crime. (BIG ISSUE)

The tales are told with a flourish in a fascinating, useful and lively history (THE TIMES)

Book Description

* A history of East End gangsters from the 1870s until today, charting the changes in society and the way the Underworld has evolved to stay ahead of the Law.

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My father, who was a spice merchant, had a warehouse and office in Mitre Street just around the corner from where Jack the Ripper killed Mary Kelly. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Granter on 26 May 2012
Format: Paperback
I like it. For sure, some sections are rather 'dense' and a bit hard to follow, but were the author to slow things down, the book couldn't cover as much ground. It's also the case that particularly interesting episodes and characters do from time to time get a less staccato coverage.

The style is dry but not in the sense of being without wit, and the book is well edited. Many of the events and situations are enlivened by a faintly sardonic tone. Criminals 'quite properly' refuse to testify before the grand jury... and when someone gets taken to an 'escape proof' gaol, you can almost guess that the next line will be 'he escaped the next day'...

Content wise, I found the depiction of criminal life during the 1920s and 30s in the USA quite surprising in terms of the sheer scale of violence and corruption. I was also surprised (though less so the more I read) by how reckless a lot of these criminals were in terms of ripping each other off - "Such and such decided not to give [insert insanely violent and ruthless criminal's name here] their share of the money..." They did WHAT?

A book that's lively but not lazy or 'pulpy', and broad enough in scope and scale to provide excellent value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. McDonald on 2 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Morton always produces an interesting read. Gangs of London, published in 2010 by Milo, has updated the lives of many of the villains mentioned in this book. It has also discovered the amazing 'Forty Elephants' all-female gang which is causing a stir at the moment.
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By PtoD on 10 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An informative read of East End crime from the 1880's up to the present date. I have read an extensive range of literature relating to organised crime over the years and originate from the East End myself. Even so, there was still subject matter that is seldom covered in books of a similar subject: Victorian crime records, Sidney Street siege, early street gangs, trial dates including counsel and further references at the page bottom. I was impressed at the vast amount of matter covered in over 400 pages, it even gave details of a gangland murder in 1968, the victim concerned was known to my late father. I now have a much clearer version of the events relating to this killing.

Many thanks James Norton, you certainly have researched all your facts as much as possible. So refreshing to read books of this magnitude as opposed to those semi-literate efforts by old low lives, claiming to have done this, that or the other. The only thing the latter souls are doing is supplementing their old age pensions!! I will next be reading a follow up book by James on ''Gangland Bosses''. I can thoroughly recommend ''East End Gangland'' to all those discerning readers of crime.
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By John W on 3 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Worked with James Morton years ago. Didn't know he had an interest in this subject or that he was a writer. A fine summary of a disturbing history. John W
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris Carson on 29 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not exactly what you could call a thrilling read. If anything it's heavy going, simply because of the way it's written. It doesn't flow and is overly disjointed thus making it difficult to follow. The storytelling isn't particularly interesting and doesn't offer anything much in the way of any "wow" factor and if anything is just too boring and plodding. Not really an author I could recommend and I would suggest looking elsewhere for books on this genre. I'm sure there must be other authors who have mastered the technique of interesting reading much better than this one has.
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By Roger Rowland on 10 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written and extremely entertaining. Hard to believe that these people were real and not fictional.Certainly food for thought .
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