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Tales From The Longcroft (Tales From The Longcroft Estate Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Darren Sant
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 31 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

Darren Sant has created an excellent series of gritty urban tales set in and around the fictional Longcroft Estate. Featuring the kind of flawed, blurred and, occasionally, downright sinister characters that inhabit today's Britain his work is a masterpiece of crime fiction and social realism combined. All we can say is just enjoy reading this first volume of three stories, look forward to the next one and, most of all, be glad you don't live there!

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 222 KB
  • Print Length: 31 pages
  • Publisher: Byker Books (18 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007B1SPNA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,640 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Darren Sant was born in 1970 and raised in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire which is in the United Kingdom. He moved to Hull in East Yorkshire in 2001.

A life long avid reader he always wanted to be a writer. However, teenage years, girls, work, pubs and football provided adequate distraction until his late twenties. After attending a few creative writing classes he started writing poetry. After moving to Hull he joined a writing group called the Renegade Writers who gained infamy by doing performance poetry with a Rock N Roll ethos. Following the split of the Renegade Writers he settled down a little and didn't write for a while.

He became interested in writing again when his friend, Nick Boldock, introduced him to the Radgepacket series by Byker Books. These anthologies had a gritty urban feel to them and prided themselves on being "Industrial Strength" fiction. He wrote a story for the fourth volume in the series. The story "The Ungrateful Dead" was followed by another he wrote which was subsequently published in the fifth Radgepacket volume "Back Street Redemption".

Darren was next published by Pill Hill Press in an anthology with a story called Firestorm. The anthology was called ePocalypse: Emails at the end. A story co-written with Nick Boldock. Daren's fiction has also been published in Guilty Conscience Publishing's Off The Record charity anthology.

Darren's stories have appeared in various online publications such as The Flash Fiction Offensive, Pulp Metal, Thrillers Killers N Chillers, The Killing Pandemic, Flash Jab Fiction and Shotgun Honey. He continues to write stories but also and also reviews everything he reads on his own book blog Daz's Short Book Reviews.

Darren's creation The Longcroft Estate is the setting for a number of his stories. A collection of the first three of these tales is was published by Byker Books in February 2012.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales Of The Unexpected 22 Feb. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book has a prologue and an epilogue that work spectaculary well as bread for the meat in this wonderful sandwich. Excellent.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series. Gritty, urban and a really good view of a struggling area.

I gave that one a 5 star review and wondered if the author would be able to keep up the high standard.

The answer is clearly yes. What is shown by this is the versatility of Mr Sant - this guy is no 'one-trick pony'.

This one kicks in with the action straight away.

Within 2 paragraphs the reader will know that Tracy is in trouble, that she owes a thug called 'Taff Hargreaves' a good deal of money and that she has until the end of her week to pay it back (he'll accept payment in kind, it turns out).

Tracy doesn't want to pay. Feels hard enough to get by while wondering how she ever imagined Longcroft could ever have been a wise place to make a fresh start.

Her strength turns to nought when Taff meets up with her son, even settling an issue with his bullies.

That puts her into a very tight spot indeed.

Watching on as that spot tightens is genuinely gripping and the resolution (however unexpected) is utterly satisfying.

And Rowan's Folly is the icing on the cake, one of those Barbie cakes with the doll in the middle and the cake skirt.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rita, Sue, Bob and Darren Sant 22 Feb. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Ever seen Rita Sue And Bob Too?

Of the documentary film about the writer of the screenplay, Andrea Dunbar, called The Arbor?

If you have, you'll know that it's full of heart and dirt and real life woes and spins tales of silk from ruined bronchial tubes.

That's what Darren Sant does.

And that is why he deserves to be read, pronto.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. 28 Feb. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'Tales from the Longcroft' does exactly what it says on the tin. Three tales from the fictional Longcroft Estate, situated somewhere in the mind of the talented Darren Sant. There are three stories in this collection, increasing in length and complexity. All three stories feature residents of the Longcroft going about their daily business.

There are a lot of these types of stories about at the moment, but Sant sets himself apart on two counts. Along with Paul Brazill, the two of them inject humour into a genre sometimes lacking in it. For where there is bleakness, humour is never far away. That is just a universal truth. What also sets Sant apart is what he has created in these Longcroft tales. He has created a world.

Now world-building is something usually associated with the fantasy genre, not noir. But in having created the Longcroft Estate, Sant has achieved a bordered backdrop, a grimy world of back alleys and side streets, twitching curtains and twitching bodies, where almost anything can happen. The potential, literally, is endless.

The goings on of the lowlife and the scum from the Longcroft Estate is written with Sant's signature levity. And I enjoyed every minute.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Crooked Little Stories With A Lot Of Heart 5 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The stories in this collection are all set on The Longcroft Estate, a fictional (but totally believable) council estate in the North of England. The first, A Good Day, centres on a junkie who becomes suspicious of his new neighbours and thinks he sees a chance to make some skag money. But when he pokes his nose - or rather, his crowbar - in where it doesn't belong he gets far more than he bargained for. The central character comes straight out of the Frank Gallagher school of scumbags who by rights we should hate, yet somehow end up loving. Don't be fooled, though, this story deals with some deadly serious and disturbing themes.

Community Spirit is the second story. Tracy, like so many people these days, is in debt to a brutal loan-shark. Eeking out an existence on a grim estate, she's stuggling to make the repayments and facing a looming deadline that must be met or she risks violent consequences for her and her young son. In other words, Tracy is in deep trouble. But she's not going to give up without a fight. Well-written and bleak, but not without an all-important spark of hope, Community Spirit is a tale for our recession-hit times.

Sant saves the best for last with Rowan's Folly, the longest of the three tales. Again, we're introduced to a broad cast of characters, most of whom deftly walk that fine line between lovable scallies and straight out scumbags. The hero - for want of a better word - of the piece is Andy Rowan, an honest guy who's about to make a big mistake by getting mixed up with the wrong woman. This is a tightly written piece with a great little twist in the tail. It's also peppered with references to the previous stories, giving a nice cohesion to the collection.

Sant is a writer to watch and this is a gem of a collection, mixing serious social commentary with coal-black humour. I'll definitely be looking out for the next instalment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars something in the water. 15 April 2012
By Danny
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This collection of richly-woven tales, set in TV's Shameless-esque working-class suburbia, not signifies not only the emergence of a top writer in the genre, but it seems significant and a stroke of tactical genius for Byker Books to sign the author when they did - perhaps it's not only the St James' Park club up the road with a penchant for great signings this year. Maybe there's something in the water up there.

There's absolutely no space in these three stories to flesh out all the characters Sant has introduced us to here, but he does well with the space he's given, and once you've devoured these tasty morsels you'll be hungry for the next instalment. Already we have great characters - from the cheeky-yet-loveable schemies to the hard men and the slags and the chancers - and plenty of manoeuvres for great plotlines. The dark comedy evokes Irvine Welsh, but there are some dark undertones too, almost as though the writer is daring you to laugh for fear of what's around the corner - it's gripping.

What Sant also does is interlink each story, giving the effect of a community at work; with each character offering different viewpoints on every individual character, this is something immensely difficult for a writer to accomplish successfully, but it's achieved here almost effortlessly.

It's a brilliant ambitious piece of work, and I will look out for the next collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!
I quite enjoyed the storyline - although this is actually a collection of very short stories and the writing is Ok. However this is only 31 pages long! Frankly, £1. Read more
Published 17 months ago by sandra brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Sage Advice
The best advice I've seen concerning how you should read the brilliant portraits in Darren Sant's latest is given by one of the characters in one of the best tales in the book. Read more
Published on 31 July 2013 by A. J. Hayes
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Didn't realise this was going to be a series of short stories. It was a bit disjointed although could have taken have made a good book with developing any of the chapters into a... Read more
Published on 25 Jun. 2013 by KJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Great gritty shorts
An interlinked series of short stories about the less than law-abiding residents of the Longcroft Estate. Read more
Published on 1 Jun. 2013 by K. Nixon
5.0 out of 5 stars A great slice of the Longcroft low-life
In this collection of interwoven stories Darren Sant has created a rich tapestry of believable characters. Read more
Published on 25 May 2013 by Nevada Roadkill
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than shameless
Loved this book, It really took me into the Longcroft. The characters where all people who you'd imagine you'd meet in a sink hole estate. Read more
Published on 5 April 2013 by Mrs Button, Button house, Button HIll, Button Land.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fi-tim
Very interested reading all the small stories which blend into the main story .nicely written & mirrors life on a rough council estate . Enjoyable read .
Published on 29 Jan. 2013 by fiona timothy
5.0 out of 5 stars More please!
An excellent read, nearly impossible to put down. The stories are engrossing with believable, realistic characters. Read more
Published on 6 Oct. 2012 by Ruth Jacobs
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully bleak estate
In the Longcroft Estate Darren Sant has created a vivid setting for his tales of the characters that live their. Read more
Published on 28 Sept. 2012 by Aidan
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