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The Streets [Kindle Edition]

Anthony Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

From the author of Half of the Human Race (Channel 4 TV Book Club) comes an intricate and thrilling tale of love and conspiracy in Victorian London.

London, 1882. David Wildeblood, an idealistic young journalist, pounds the streets of Camden reporting on the notorious slums. The misery and squalor surprise him, but more shocking still is the realisation that someone is profiting from this destitution. Wildeblood’s urge to uncover the truth draws him into mortal danger as his investigations reveal a trail of corruption that leads to the very highest levels of society...

‘Powerful and heartfelt. Ms Eliot and Mr Dickens would surely approve’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Quinn blends his history, his political concerns, his ideals, his plot and his characters elegantly, with a light hand and the pace of a thriller’ Daily Telegraph

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Product Description


"Ambitious, gripping and disturbingly well done." (Kate Saunders The Times)

"Quinn’s most mature novel yet… His picture of poverty’s shaming, dehumanizing effect is powerful, and the recurrent call for pity heartfelt. Ms Eliot and Mr Dickens would surely approve." (Holly Kyte Sunday Telegraph)

"Cements his reputation as an accomplished and challenging novelist… Though it takes place 130 years ago, the questions that The Streets poses about how, as a society and individuals, we tackle deprivation arguably remain just as pertinent." (Peter Stanford Independent)

"Quinn blends his history, his political concerns, his ideals, his plot and his characters elegantly, with a light hand and the pace of a thriller." (Louisa Young Daily Telegraph)

"Displays the unsentimental yet powerful flair for romance that characterized his previous novel, Half of the Human Race. Perhaps most exciting of all, there is a sense that he is still writing within himself." (Tom Cox Sunday Times)

Book Description

A tale of love and conspiracy in Dickens' London. From the author of Half of the Human Race.(Channel 4 TV Book Club).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1023 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (4 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008AX1J1I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,241 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of Victorian corruption, and bravery 18 Feb. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Set in 1882, this story is told by David Wildeblood, forced off his career path by an indiscretion that landed him in prison, who becomes a journalist in London. It is also, and even more pertinently, a story of poverty, starvation, villainy and corruption, as David finds as he walks the streets of Somers Town, painfully learns the ways of the place and the argot, and gradually discovers the ploys of criminal landlords who have thought up a great racket for defrauding their tenants, tearing down houses without thought of relocating those tenants who have little to look forward to except the workhouse.
Or not really without thought. Hand in hand with the property scams goes a scheme to remove the 'undeserving' poor from the streets of London where they are seen as a threat to the rich, to sinister new communities in the countryside. David is horrified and at considerable personal cost begins to fight the landlords.
This is a good story, exciting and moving, and though sometimes it begins to read as rather dry social history, it always has the element of surprise and an engaging set of characters, from David himself, Jo the coster monger and his sister Roma, and Henry Marchmount, the newspaper proprietor too fond of gambling, to upper class Kitty and her father, David's godfather, and to the people of the streets, including tragic Mrs Nicholls and the happy wanderer William Duckenfield.
It is too easy to forget how, relatively recently, the warring worlds of the British upper and underclasses had reached such depths. For all the poverty and crime the residents of the slums clung to what they knew and were terrified of upheaval and change.
An excellent and extremely thought-provoking book. The detail is often horrific; the reality must have been appalling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Anthony Quinn's third novel The Streets tells the story of David Wildeblood, a troubled young man from Norfolk who arrives in London to work on a weekly publication which charts the lives of the people who live in the areas around St Pancras station. David is somewhat naive when he first arrives in the capital, and is thrown in at the deep end when his boss and mentor, Henry Marchmont, takes him on a tour of Somers Town and opens his eyes to the squalor and poverty which exists there.

David is horrified by what he finds; once grand houses split into ramshackle dwellings with families of six or more sharing one damp, lice-infested room. He's even more shocked by the realisation that the profiteering landlords of these properties are `respectable' local businessmen who turn a blind eye to the degradation and filth in which their tenants scrape an existence.

Despite Marchmont's warning that "Our mission is to observe, to enquire, to report. It is not ours to interfere", David finds himself drawn to the cause of the downtrodden inhabitants of Somers Town and with the help of Jo, a local costermonger, and his sister Roma, his investigations take him deeper and deeper into a web of corruption and deceit.

David is our narrator, and a fine job he makes of it; his voice growing in confidence as the story progresses. It's a very atmospheric novel which captivated me from the beginning. I've read quite a few modern/Victorian novels which chronicle the plight of the poor and destitute of London.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Streets by Anthony Quinn 15 Nov. 2012
Having adored the author's last book HALF OF THE HUMAN RACE, I was eagerly awaiting this novel, and it doesn't disappoint. Anthony Quinn really gets under the skin of the underbelly of Victorian London, and creates a wonderful cast of characters. The writing is terrific, but most of all its a cracking good read. Any fans of THE INSTANCE OF THE FINGER POST, CRIMSON PETAL WHITE or Sarah Waters will love this book. This is historical fiction at its very best. You have a treat in store. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facts in a fictional setting 12 Dec. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was very impressed with this book about Victorian London written by Anthony Quinn. His research into the lives of the people who lived in the slum areas of London during the Victorian times is richly described. He also describes the means of communication between locals, where the Irish and the Jews are not included, with the use of 'backward language', something I had read about, and since forgotten, many years ago. He also goes on to describe, in perfect detail, what the 'rich set' of London thought about those in poverty and the hero of the book, David Wildeblood, is quick to defend those he has come to know while going house to house in the heavily rented district allocated to him by his newspaper employer.
Anyone interested in Victorian London will find this book heart-warming and thought provoking. With its relatively short chapters, the reader can take time to read the words and place themselves in the scene described at the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Streets 29 Oct. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It is 1881 and David Wildeblood is a young man who comes to London and begins work as the latest recruit for a successful weekly periodical, "The Labouring Classes on London." For the last two years the owner, Mr Marchmont, has investigated the lower classes and chronicled the findings, his aim to understand the causes and conditions of poverty. At first, David has immense problems carrying out his task of speaking to the inhabitants of the area he has been assigned. He doesn't understand the slang, the accents and the people who live there are suspicious of his motives. Then David meets Jo Garrett, who befriends him and accompanies him on his travels, and his mysterious sister Roma.

This is a novel which is very evocative of the time and place where it is set. The author has a wonderful hero in David Wildebood. He is a little uncomfortable, well meaning and totally naive, but always has the best intentions. While in London he meets his mysterious godfather, Sir Martin Elder, and his beautiful daughter Kitty. He also investigates the slum landlords in the area and uncovers a conspiracy during his travels. This book weaves the conspiracy plot, Victorian views of the poor, the horrors of slum housing and the fear of the workhouse, social reform and corruption in an interesting novel. It would be ideal for reading groups with much to discuss and think about, as well as a great storyline and characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Recommend that you waste little of your time on this as flawed in...
I really struggled to finish this book which I found irritating at many levels.

Worst of all was the attempt to write in the style of Dickens. Read more
Published 4 months ago by hextol
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
Wonderful story with many twists and turns and rich characters. A book to treasure.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. P. J. Proverbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
i love all his books
Published 6 months ago by ann jackson
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
you can forsee what is coming next. and the ending was nothing to shout about.
Published 7 months ago by william
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very enjoyable - reminded me of a Dickens novel
Published 7 months ago by Susan Coates
4.0 out of 5 stars Neither fish nor fowl but quite tasty nevertheless
David Wildeblood is the disgraced son of a middle class family who has been employed as a researcher/journalist looking at the slums of Somers Town in London. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Plucked Highbrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really good read
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. C. Hendren
3.0 out of 5 stars London poverty
London 1882, and the young David Wildeblood starts work on Henry Marchmont’s staff as researcher/journalist on the weekly publication The Labouring Classes of London. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Douglas Kemp
4.0 out of 5 stars The Streets
The first copy of this book didn't arrive from Monteilbooks but they promptly sent a replacement.
I was initially disappointed to find that the author shares the same name as... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jo Hatfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 13 months ago by Linda Durman
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