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Nineteen Seventy Four (Red Riding Quartet) Paperback – 4 Sep 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; Reprint edition (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846687055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846687051
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,261 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.

Review

The slow-burning, word-of-mouth success story of British publishing... These four books recreated the pervasive sense of terror and corruption with a hammering, semi-magical style loosely reminiscent of James Ellroy, but steeped in something far more bleak and English... the evil twin of Life On Mars... Peace may have succeeded in creating an enduring literature for a curiously undocumented area of Britain (Justin Quirk Guardian Guide 2009-02-28)

Bleakly brilliant (Radio Times 2009-02-28)

Compelling (Sunday Times 2009-03-01)

He's in a class of his own in terms of ambition. He's trying to write these alternative histories of events we know quite well in a challenging way. The fact that he's dealing with very English subjects from Japan is very interesting (Alex Clark editor of Granta Magazine)

A British crime master work. Required reading... (Maxim 2009-04-01)

Original, difficult, brilliant (Observer 2009-03-01)

Haunting evocations of 70s and 80s Yorkshire - interlinking tales of very fallible coppers, very noir hacks, very human killers (Euan Ferguson Observer 2009-03-01)

Singular and memorable (Ian Jack Guardian 2009-03-14)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By rhys Muldoon on 31 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
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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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 25 July 2009
Format: Paperback
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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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Wilson on 10 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
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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