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Nineteen Seventy Four (Red Riding Quartet) [Paperback]

David Peace
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Sep 2008 Red Riding Quartet

Jeanette Garland, missing Castleford, July 1969. Susan Ridyard, missing Rochdale, March 1972. Claire Kemplay, missing Morley, since yesterday. Christmas bombs and Lord Lucan on the run, Leeds United and the Bay City Rollers, The Exorcist and It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

It's winter, 1974, Yorkshire, and Eddie Dunford's got the job he wanted - crime correspondent for the Yorkshire Evening Post. He didn't know it was going to be a season in hell. A dead little girl with a swan's wings stitched into her back.

In Nineteen Seventy Four, David Peace brings the passion and stylistic bravado of an Ellroy novel to this terrifyingly intense journey into a secret history of sexual obession and greed, and starts a highly acclaimed crime series that has redefined how the genre is approached.

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Nineteen Seventy Four (Red Riding Quartet) + Nineteen Seventy Seven + Red Riding Nineteen Eighty (Red Riding Quartet)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; Reprint edition (4 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846687055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846687051
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Peace - named in 2003 as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists - was born and brought up in Yorkshire. He is the author of the Red Riding Quartet (Nineteen Seventy Four, Nineteen Seventy Seven, Nineteen Eighty and Nineteen Eighty Three) which was adapted into an acclaimed three part Channel 4 series, GB84, which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Award, and The Damned Utd, the film version of which (adapted by Peter Morgan and starring Michael Sheen) was released in Spring 2009. Tokyo Year Zero and Occupied City are the first two books in his Tokyo Trilogy.

Product Description

Amazon Review

From the very first page of David Peace's first novel, 1974, it soon becomes clear that something is rotten in the state of Yorkshire: a young girl is missing.

The Yorkshire Post's young but disillusioned crime correspondent, Edward Dunford, is assigned to the story, while juggling the recent death of his father and the return to his native Yorkshire after a brief, unsuccessful stint in Fleet Street. For the jaded Dunford, it's just another story; the only intrigue is whether or not the girl will be found dead or alive before Christmas. That is, until the girl is discovered brutally murdered, face down in a ditch with a pair of swan's wings sewn into her back.

As Dunford follows the case, he begins to make a series of terrifying connections with a string of child murders, plunging him into a gut-wrenching nightmare of corruption, violence, sadism, blackmail and sexual obsession--from the upper echelons of local government to the tacky heart of Yorkshire darkness.

As Peace's tale of corruption and conspiracy unravels, it becomes clear that 1974 is as influenced by Orwell's own bleak vision of Britain in 1984 as it is by the wonderfully evoked atmosphere of the mid- 70s. The Bay City Rollers, Leeds United, It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Vauxhall Viva's all make an appearance. The novel works at several levels, from the brilliantly unsentimental homecoming of the gifted, alienated northern son, to a terrifyingly accurate portrayal of an insular, tribal community. The plot is complex and frenetic and Peace often leaves strands untied, especially as he builds to an extremely powerful climax. Yet the dialogue is fast, witty and violent; a must read for fans of Yorkshire Gothic. -- Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"'Breathless, extravagant, ultra-violent' Independent on Sunday 'British crime fiction's most exciting new voice in decades' GQ 'Brilliant' The Times 'The pace is relentless, the style staccato-plus and the morality bleak and forlorn... Peace's voice is powerful and unique' Guardian 'Quite simply, this is the future of British crime fiction' Time Out 'A triumph of sustained narrative energy that reinvigorates the British crime novel' Daily Telegraph"

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fuse lit for a devestating quartet 31 Jan 2004
I like my crime black as night and completely fearless. 1974 delivers not only great crime, just the way I like it, but great literature. Peace has redefined the crime novel.( I've heard this said many times as a crime afficianado, but in this case it really is true) Generally in crime novels bad things happen in an (essentially) good place. Someone then sets out to make things right. In 1974, the whole world (Yorkshire) is bad and NOTHING can set it right. The truth has to be squeezed out (and I don't use this cliche lightly) like blood from a stone. In Peace's world, the facts are profoundly disturbing and the emotions surrounding them are worse. Morality is virtually non-existent and what there is brings about only brutal survival. This is indeed a Godless universe, and visiting it through these pages truly gives a glimpse of hell. Peace has to be admired for his courage and his unflinching gaze into the abyss. It is troubling to read, what was it like to WRITE. Just to see the author's name - PEACE - after having read this book reminds you how far from peace this time and place are (were).
1974 is the first book of the red riding quartet (1974,1977,1980,1983) and cannot truly be appreciated (good as it is) without finishing the quartet. While a liitle rougher, and not quite as tight as the following three books, 1974 has a raw urgency and ends(?) with a lot of unanswered questions. Questions that are answered, or rather confronted and dissected in the following three books. 1974 lights the fuse,and then the bombs start falling. Woe to the reader with a weak constitution. Once read, these books will NEVER be forgotten
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As claustrophobic as a bag over the head 12 Feb 2003
By A Customer
You won't forget this one in a hurry.
Serpent's Tail consistently put out top class work, and this is no exception.
Bleak, dark, sickeningly violent, horribly believable, populated by characters who are for the most part doomed, it's never an easy ride. Finishing this book genuinely gave me the feeling of coming up for air, and ever since I have had the contradictory feelings of wishing I hadn't read it, but being glad I had. I will be reading other books in the quartet, but not too soon.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What kind of hard-boiled nutcase is David Peace? 10 Feb 2003
When it comes to crime fiction, I like it bleak, nasty and nihilistic (makes my own problems seem less overwhelming somehow) but nothing could have prepared me for 'Nineteen Seventy Four' by David Peace. A bleaker, nastier and more nihilistic novel you'd be hard-pressed to find. This book is disturbing to the point of insanity, sickening to the point of physical nausea. Not just because of the harrowing plot and relentlessly graphic detail, either - but because somebody actually dreamed it up in the first place!
I know a work of art should stand alone, independent of its creator, and there's no doubt that 'Nineteen Seventy Four' does that. This is noir at its most brutal and thought-provoking. But I couldn't help wondering about its author. What kind of hard-boiled nutcase is David Peace, to come up with such a book - the closest thing to literary hell this side of James Ellroy's 'Silent Terror'? I guess there's always the chance he's a sweet-natured, peace-loving, vegetarian optimist... but I wouldn't stake my life on it.
'Nineteen Seventy Four' takes the reader on a frenetic and brutal trip through the corrupt underbelly of Yorkshire society in the mid-seventies. An era of dodgy music and TV, and even dodgier fashion- not to mention bent cops, drunks, freaks, desperados, and crimes so heinous they defy belief. Bang smack in the middle of it all is Eddie Dunford, a young but jaded crime journo assigned to background research on a series of gruesome murders, whilst his nemesis Jack Whitehead - Crime Reporter of the Year - basks in the headlining glory.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleak 25 July 2009
By L. Davidson VINE VOICE
I must admit that I didn't enjoy "1974" as much as David Peace's other novels such as the excellent "The Damned United" and the original "GB84". This was mainly because I couldn't identify with the main character ,the crime correspondent for a Yorkshire newspaper, Edward Dunsford. He was a blaze of intensity and fearlessness driving around West Yorkshire like a maniac copulating with women, drinking heavily and getting into fights. He certainly put the "investigative" into "investigative reporter". I found him not to be a credible character. The story revolves around the murder of a young girl and Dunsford's piecing together of a web of corruption surrounding this event. The dialogue and action is earthy to say the least and at times it was hard to keep up with all of the new characters introduced by the author."1974" is like a rough and not as well written version of one of Ian Rankin's "Rebus" books.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Northern noir at its best 17 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Taken together with its successors '77 and '84 David Peace's (to date) trilogy drives a bloody smear right through the already-blurred boundaries seperating recent British current affairs and literary 'faction' (as best illustrated by Westography 'Happy as Murderers'). Effortlessly interlaces a feral, truncheon-happy plod with one of the best-known yet least-well depicted demons of the late Twentieth Century, metered against the almost touching innocence of those who think they can stand up and exist in their own right. Read, despair, regret having read, then re-evaluate.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy.
The book is in great condition and was very reasonably priced altogether I am very happy with purchase. Yeah cool.
Published 2 months ago by iamscreech
4.0 out of 5 stars James Ellroy in Yorkshire
David Peace has translated James Ellroy's apocalyptic view of police etc from LA to Yorkshire. This is not a cosy detective story. It is episodic depressing and black. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rf And Tm Walters
1.0 out of 5 stars Deeply unpleasant
I found this book nastry, brutal, unpleasant and disturbing. If you like to read of brutal acts in fairly horrific detail then perhaps you will enjoy this book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by mythicalkings
2.0 out of 5 stars What a depressing tale!
I found this book to be too dark, too cynical. too sado-masochistic and too long. All very depressing and not recommended.
Published 5 months ago by MR PETER ELLIS
1.0 out of 5 stars bad laguage
I did,nt think I was a prude, but after a few pages I got fed up with all the bad language, so gave up.
Published 5 months ago by alex davies
3.0 out of 5 stars On the Fence
Written in an unusual way I found this book compelling reading but there's something about it I just didn't like .......... I can't really explain why! Read more
Published 6 months ago by eagle eyes
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, murky and well worth it
This harks back to a dark time in our history - when the police and crooks were interchangable at times
It moves at a fast pace, and gives a good reflection of the times - its... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kath Dallan
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
One of those books that seemed promising but in the end I gave up on. More than enough expletives for the average read and it lost pace as it went along. Not for me.
Published 6 months ago by john
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many f*** words
This is a good story completely spoilt for me by the incessant use of the f* word. I'm not squeamish about bad language innwritten Engish if it comes naturally in the speech, but... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Archivist
1.0 out of 5 stars Deeply unpleasant
No redeeming qualities at all. I wished that I hadn't read it. Unbelievably, there seem to be further books in the series!
Published 6 months ago by ChrisE
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