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The Hooligan Nights (Victorian London Ebooks Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Clarence Rook , Lee Jackson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.23
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Book Description

'If you go crooked, I'll ave your wall-paper orn'minted wiv your brains ...'

'The Hooligan Nights' by Clarence Rook (1899) is a classic contemporary description of crime on the streets of 1890s Lambeth. The book is told through a series of interviews with its teenage protagonist, the charismatic 'Alf' - we learn about his upbringing, his criminal exploits, including burglary, pickpocketing, passing counterfeit money and bare-knuckle fights. Alf is a magnificent character, full of spirit and charm, but capable of evoking our pity. Each interview leaves the reader wanting to know more about his fate - not least, will the 'coppers' catch up with him? The book is a unique description of 'low life', written at the zenith of Queen's Victoria's reign, achieved without sentiment or moralising. Was Alf a real boy, an amalgam of different people, or a work of pure fiction? There are no definitive answers to this puzzle, but he remains one of the great 'lost' characters of English fiction.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 245 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Victorian London Ebooks (1 Feb. 1890)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Q3RHYO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars London Life? 11 April 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was written by Clarence Rook, a journalist and writer of fiction. This was published in book form in 1899 but despite the inpression that the author himself gives in his own introduction, this is a work of fiction. So saying though, such things mentioned in this book did and do happen, but the author did not keep bumping into Alf, the main character of this. If you are wondering where most of this book takes place, it is now in the London Boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth.

This was quite popular on its first appearance, and is still a good read today. The author has tried to capture the language and the slang of the area by writing the sayings of Alf in the dialect, and there is also a glossary supplied at the back of the book of slang words used. So who is Alf? In a nutshell the character is a composition of different people, and Alf thus appears much larger than life. The book is slightly comical in places and is enjoyable to read with Alf relating all the dodges he knows about and gets up to, from pickpocketing (although I should point out that the examples given here are not just the skill of a fingersmith, but also mugging), burglary and robbery, and a whole host of other tricks.

Being a South Londoner born and bred I must rather shame facedly admit that I can speak the type of dialect that Alf talks, I already know the slang, and I knew all the cons in this book, although some refer to the days of horse and carts. I have to admit that most people will probably be well aware of all the dodges that go on, and you won't really find anything new here. What is funy though is that Alf, the wideboy, thinks he is quite clever with all his ducking and diving, but you still see his type about today. While he may be making a bit of money here and there, he always has the worry of being caught, and never makes enough to rise above others and make something of himself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read all round 25 Sept. 2011
By Jude Faulkner TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
I am a not a native but have lived in London for a long time and enjoy finding out about it's history. I knew about the 'hooligans' in the 1800's from my history studies but this book expands on the theme. I work with people who still talk like the main character and have seen a lot of dodgy things that have their roots in this era. The reader could make direct comparisons between these 'hooligans' and the recent London rioters. A very good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hooligan nights 23 Oct. 2014
By Brian
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been reading a few books about Victorian London . This book purports to be a true story but is in reality a short collection of short stories by the author but they do ring true and I enjoyed the book. Not Dickens but I did enjoy them and can recommend them to readers who are interested in the period
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Not as engaging as James Greenwood's books but still interesting. Looking at London today with it's gangs and drugs, it appears history has a way of repeating itself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric 29 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellently written and an absorbing insight to a'Hooligans' life.
Highly recommend. Planned to read in spare time but struggled to put down.
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