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Strumpet City: One City One Book Edition [Paperback]

James Plunkett
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2013
This new edition of the epic Strumpet City marks the centenary of the 1913 Lockout. It has been chosen as Dublin City Libraries' One City, One Book for 2013. First published in 1969, it has repeatedly been described as one of the greatest Irish novels of all time. Centring on the seminal lockout of 20,000 workers in Dublin in 1913, Strumpet City encompasses a wide sweep of city life. From the destitution of Rashers Tierney to the solid, aspirant respectability of Fitz and Mary, the priestly life of Father O'Connor, and the upper-class world of Yearling and the Bradshaws, it paints a portrait of a city of stark contrasts, with an urban working class mired in vicious poverty. Strumpet City is much more than a book about the Lockout. Through the power of vivid fiction we encounter all the complexities of humanity. The brilliant and much-loved TV series, originally screened by RTE in 1980, is fondly remembered by many but to read the book is to immerse yourself in social and historical writing akin to Chekhov and Tolstoy. Strumpet City is the great, sweeping Irish historical novel of the 20th century.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Gill & Macmillan Ltd (1 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0717156109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0717156108
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'Many studies have been written about the quest for the Great American Novel. Anyone seeking its Irish equivalent need search no further.' --Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

'If there is one novel that bares the soul of Dublin as much as the life-in-one-day of Ulysses, it is James Plunkett's Strumpet City' --Donal O'Donoghue RTE Guide. 30 March 2013

'Dublin City Libraries has chosen the masterpiece as its One City, One Book for 2013. Epic.' --Joe Duffy The Irish Mail on Sunday 24 March 2013

About the Author

The late James Plunkett drew on his city centre working-class background, and his commitment to the labour movement, as the background for his fiction. Strumpet City is acknowledged as his masterpiece. His other novels include Farewell Companions and The Circus Animals. He was an accomplished short story writer and also wrote for radio and for the theatre.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strumpet City 27 Jan 2006
Format:Hardcover
A moving tale of the events leading up to, and the aftermath of, the Dublin lockout of 1913. Totally believable in its heart-rending description of the poverty of the Dublin working class contrasted with the comforts of the middle classes.
Plunkett describes without emotion the struggle of a young foundryman to help others, even at the cost to his own young family. He brings alive the great champion of the Irish working class, Big Jim Larkin, founder of the Irish transport union, as well as the unsung heroes who suffered for their cause.
I found myself loathing the cold-hearted Catholic curate who despised the poor people of his parish although he'd elected to work amongst them. Father O Connor was typical of a certain mindset that held the poor responsible for their own miserable condition, telling them their religion was more important than their hunger. He was more comfortable among the well-off of Irish society with their barely concealed contempt for the "lower orders".
"Strumpet City" ranks equal with Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" as a story of the common humanity and generosity of the poorest of the poor. Surprisingly, the RTE video of the story remains true to the spirit of the novel; it's well worth seeing.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is a work of genius. It is compelling and historically accurate with some wonderful characters woven through the tale. Plunkett will not write a beter book and not many will. I read it at least once a year if I can and it is among the best if not the best book I have ever read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Having first read Strumpet City over 20 years ago, I'm looking forward to reading it again, and glad that it's getting the recognition it deserves, through the One City One Book initiative..

From the opening paragraph, the reader is in the hands of a master storyteller, who knows, and loves, his subject - Dublin - intimately. The years running up to the seminal 1913 Dublin Lock-Out are vividly drawn, and nothing is spared in portraying the polarization that was to emerge between employer and worker.

The characters are all skillfully drawn, with Rashers Tierney one of the best-loved in Irish writing (who suffers a dreadful fate - remember, no harsh reality around the poverty of the time is held back).

But it's not a miserable book - far from it. Read it to get an insight into the start of a troublesome decade, and to lose yourself in the hands of a master storyteller ......

You won't regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Irish Tolstoy 24 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some say Joyce's "Ulysees" is THE Dublin novel.I beg to differ.
Plunkett's brilliant description of a city torn apart by class,income and poitics is far more arresting than Joyce.Historically accurate descriptions of the poverty and humanity of the Dublin working class during the lock out of 1913 are the back bone of the novel,with it's various great characthers-James Larkin above all,but also Rashers and the Catholic priests who follow the rich rather than Jesus.The description of children going to England to stay with allies of the strikers being forcibly taken away by Catholic fanatics is one of the most powerful I've read in any fiction.
The RTE TV series (available on DVD)is almost as good and is largely faithful to the novel.Both highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking 24 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I dont often write reviews, mainly because what I might want to say has already been said by many others before me.

However, there are occasions when one just has to say something. This was an amazing book. The characters were so perfectly drawn. I cared about them all and their struggles - even Rasher Tierney's dog!

The deprivation and poverty depicted is heartbreaking and, yes, the book can be depressing at times but then again there are a few laugh-out-loud moments at the dialogue.

I loved it. I am so sorry to have finished it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strumpet City 6 April 2013
By Spec
Format:Paperback
Read this many years ago & went back to read for a second time. Plunkett's writing style is so descriptive that you can almost smell & feel the misery of life that was Dublin back at the beginning of the 20th century.An excellent read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars recommend it to everyone 28 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
one of the best novels I have read i was transported to 1912 Ireland every single character was completely believable
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The GREAT Irish novel 9 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after seeing the wonderful RTE/Channel 4 serialisation years ago. It is one of those rarities - a book which satisfies as much as the TV version. It is brilliant - Plunkett is the Irish Tolstoy. An epic sweep combined with close attention to detail.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 3 days ago by Mc Closkey
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
This film is an all time classic and features, inter alia, a fabulously memorable performance by the late, great Irish actor David Kelly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon regular
5.0 out of 5 stars Strumpet City
Having read the book before and seen the TV series, I needed to read the book again and I now truly appreciate the significance of the terrible times that people, not only from... Read more
Published 1 month ago by prctms
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic account of survival and death in Dublin at the turn of the...
This book still moves me on a second reading nearly 50 years since I first read it.A realistic account of life in those times covered.The good and the bad.
Published 2 months ago by paul lanigan
5.0 out of 5 stars Memory lane.
I was so pleased to be able to buy this book for my late mother. She read it as a young girl and wanted to re read it. She was so happy with it and read it many times!
Published 3 months ago by Mo Valentine
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected
This was the 3rd novel of more than 750 pages I read in two months. I was glad to find there was a plot, likeable characters and not too much violence. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jackie gooding
5.0 out of 5 stars A real piece of history that demands your full attention throughout
Fascinating graphic & accurate novel about the time in Dublin history into which my mother & father were born (born 1904) - their subsequent descriptions & comments really reflect... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bill Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional historical page turner - unforgettable
Unforgettable tale of real Ireland that could be also told about an Ireland today - interesting - really holds your attention book with superb characters so brilliantly written
Published 5 months ago by ROISIN FEENEY
5.0 out of 5 stars Strumpet City - masterpiece
Enjoyed
historic background
moved by injustices of the time
convincing characters
touched by
kindness and readiness to share what little there was... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs Eileen Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
I remember this from years ago. Great that it's now on ebook. a wonderfully written story would defiantly recommend this as a good read,
Published 6 months ago by Peter Hart
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