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The Slave Paperback – 20 Mar 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Focus Books (20 Mar. 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0955820111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955820113
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,426,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of thiry-seven popular travel guides and two novels, The J-Word and The Slave. After thirty years as a travel journalist and guidebook writer, I found myself wanting to write about something close to home. Both novels are set in Golders Green, the London neighbourhood where I live.

To read about my novels and see what reviewers thought of them, see http://www.andrewsanger.com/The-J-Word and http://www.andrewsanger.com/The-Slave.

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The Slave was published in 2013 as a paperback and a Kindle e-book.

The Slave is about freedom, and what it means to three different people living near one another in Golders Green, London's largest Jewish neighbourhood. The three are Neil Chapman, a young loner who works as a van driver; Bernard Kassin, an elderly lawyer, practising Jew and respected member of the local community; and Liliana Petreanu, who is being kept captive in a room nearby and forced to work as a prostitute.

When Liliana asks Neil to help her escape, it becomes clear that going to the police is not one of his options. Nevertheless, he is willing to do anything at all to free her. When things get out of control, he calls desperately on Bernard for help. Bernard must then decide whether to risk his whole career and his position in society simply to help Liliana.

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The J-Word was published as a paperback in the UK in 2009, and came out in a Kindle edition in 2011. It was very well received in the UK, had excellent reviews in the British press, and was featured at London's Jewish Book Week and the Hampstead & Highgate Literary Festival.

The J-Word tells the story of an elderly Jewish man called Jack Silver. Jack is resolutely secular and long ago repudiated everything Jewish. He thinks of himself as English. When Jack is beaten up by an antisemitic gang in a Golders Green alleyway, a more religious Jew comes to his aid and advises him to go to the police. But Jack doesn't do that. Together with his 10-year-old grandson Danny, he sets out to outwit and track down the thugs and bring them to justice in his own way. The hunt takes Jack into memories of his childhood and the two unlikely heroes discover a shared identity spanning generations that eventually draws the whole family together.

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I've contributed travel features to a wide spectrum of British national newspapers, magazines and websites, and for ten years I was the editor of French Railways' customer magazine.

Apart from the two novels, I've written more than thirty-five travel guides, mainly to different regions of France, but also to Flanders, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Ireland and Israel. Most have been translated into several languages. My three latest travel guides are all to Normandy, and were published in 2010 and 2013.

Product Description

About the Author

Andrew Sanger is a well-established British freelance journalist and travel writer who has lived and worked in several countries, including Greece, India, the USA and the Languedoc region of southern France. Andrew now lives in NW London. Andrew has contributed to a wide spectrum of print and online publications, including most UK national newspapers, and for ten years edited a customer magazine for French Railways. His travel writing has won awards. In addition, Andrew is the author of more than thirty-five travel guides, and co-author of many more, on France and French regions, Ireland, Belgium, the Canary Islands and Israel. His website is http://www.andrewsanger.com

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Phillips on 9 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I let three days pass from the moment I turned the last page of the novel, before setting out to tap my thoughts onto a screen. For whilst this is an easy and comfortable read, it yet provides difficult and uncomfortable reflection.

A marvellous mirror to the real London, the corners of the metropolis where truly recognisable people choose to live, love, work and pray. Not a copywriter's Docklands, county-goes-to-town Notting Hill, nor swinging Soho. But the north-western suburbs where real passions play to a counterpoint of wheelie-bins, parking zones, photocopied "missing" posters outside the tube station and the bustle of a shopping centre. not merely one of the best modern novels about London, this is also a timely and poignant piece about private and public morality and an uncompromising drama on the modern horror of human trafficking.

The blurb tells all you need to know of the plot: the swift dehumanisation of the girl snatched from the streets of central Europe and forced into a hell beyond the common perception of 'prostitution', to become a barely sentient inanimate receptacle of sexual violence, frustration and hatred. A story that becomes entwined with two other Londoners' tales: the rakish drifter delivery driver; the respectable Jewish lawyer heading the residents' association. A virtual soundtrack of the private jazz playlists of these seemingly disparate souls allows us to see beyond the template of class, social position and private prejudices to a believable connection between characters who might otherwise find no reason to share confidences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookshelf Mummy on 6 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
What is community? The cosy village world in which the paths of all inhabitants are entwined belongs in pre-War fiction and 21st century soap opera? In life, as reflected in this very readable novel, we have many isolated existences running independently in the same suburban London streets. The near-drop-out delivery driver. The religiously observant lawyer whose morning rituals are unknown to those around him. The slave of the title - a trafficked European girl entombed in a brothel. Weaving these disparate lives into a taut and gripping narative, Andrew Sanger holds a mirror to our own neighbourhoods and lives. Months after reading this book, I find myself looking at my London in a fresh light, and feeling the humanity of the small private stories on the television news in emotional HD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Craig HALL OF FAME on 1 May 2014
Format: Paperback
The Slave will not disappoint fans of Sanger's debut, The J-word. Set in the same patch of North London, with characters drawn from both Jewish and Gentile communities it focusses on three characters: kindly middle-aged Bernard, deeply involved in fighting local council corruption and indifference, young Neil, a driver for a posh department store, and Liliana, a trafficked girl from Romania.

When Neil, kicked out of his wife's house into a new area, becomes a neighbour of Bernard's it sets in motion an unsettling chain of events. Neil is a drifter, intelligent but unfocused, whose sexual needs drive him to a local brothel. Here, his natural friendliness and interest in foreign languages lead him to try and talk to the drugged, terrified Liliana, who slips a note into his pocket telling him she is a slave, and the men who keep her are dangerous. How Neil and Bernard then plan a rescue keeps the reader turning the pages, but the thoughtfulness and sensitivity to London in its microcosmic worlds is beautifully described. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy on 13 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book from start to finish in only four days - a rare thing for me and a sure sign of a good story. The plot is fast-moving and the characters are intelligently developed as we learn about the shocking goings-on behind the curtains of a leafy London neighbourhood. I confess to knowing nothing about human trafficking and this book provided a valuable education in the evil trade, while confronting the complex moral issues faced by all those impacted. My only criticism would be that the book did dwell a little too much on Jewish religious observances and these felt as times for me to be rather forced into the plot - I did skip some of these sections in my eagerness to get back to the main plot. All in all a cracking read and one that will stay in the mind for a long time to come. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Gerrard on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed Andrew Sanger's previous novel, The J-Word, so looked forward to his next one. It didn't disappoint. It's a tensely-told tale set mainly in London and dealing with the harsh realities of prostitution traffic. The women - and in some cases very young girls - are kept as slaves, with no chance of escape.

The Slave is a cleverly-constructed novel which draws you into this nightmare world, taking place behind closed doors in ordinary London streets. In this particular case the streets are in the north London suburb of Golders Green, long the home of the Jewish community. One member of that community, Bernard, is one of three main characters whose lives intertwine as the story progresses. The question at the heart of the book is can someone rescue one of these girls from slavery, and if so, how?

The book, like The J-Word, is beautifully written and is also an evocative portrait not just of Golders Green but of the city of London. It's easy to tell that the author is in love with one of the world's great cities, and his portraits of incidents late at night or in the early morning leap off the page with their detailed observations.

The author also handles tension very well, and I loved some of the set pieces - a scene in which the villains are pursuing one of the main characters, Neil, around and through the Brent Cross shopping center, them in vehicles, Neil on his bicycle, is both funny and nerve-wracking. Another scene involving an even more frightening pursuit by armed men is extremely tense and all-too-real.

The ending (no spoilers here) shows that for some people life can get better, for others it can get worse, while other people go on much as before.
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