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The Streets [Audio CD]

Anthony Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks; Unabridged Audiobook edition (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471218163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471218163
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,745,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

An unforgettable story set in Victorian London, from the author of Channel 4 TV Book Club selection Half of the Human Race In 1882, David Wildeblood, a 21-year-old from rural Norfolk, arrives in London to start work at the offices of a famous man. His job is to investigate the notorious slum of Somers Town, recording house by house the number of inhabitants, their occupations and standard of living. The deeper he penetrates the everyday squalor the more appalled he is by mounting evidence that someone is making a profit from people's suffering. Passionate but reckless in his urge to uncover corruption he finds his life in danger, sustained only by the faithfulness of a friend and, ultimately, the love of a woman.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Reading this, I felt completely plunged into London of the late 19th century. The language and more specifically the register of the dialogue - from politicians of the day to poor folk in the workhouse is pitch perfect. I really enjoyed the singing of David Wildeblood's unlikely friend Jo Garrett and his sister Roma which reminded me a little of a Terence Davis film. This is an eye opener as to how our forefathers lived. Quinn paints people of every demographic so well he is like a master painter for detail.

My only caveat was the structure of this glorious novel. I felt that the acute ear for the language and conditions of the past took precedence over the structure. I felt that the dramatic finale with Sir Martin Elder was a bit of hyperbole - I couldn't imagine our narrator David behaving in quite this way. Crimes - most of them innocuous or just seeking information all result in or nearly result in tremendous punishment. It is just as likely that real criminals go unpunished.

Unfairness is the rule of the day for the have-nots who far outnumber the haves. Wildeblood meets one intriuging character called Duckenfield whose happy-go-lucky attitude almost rises above everyday need. I would have liked to get to know him a little better. Maybe he will be in Quinn's next novel?

I am a convert to this writer and plan to buy a copy of this for my brother who has lived in Austrailia for the last 25 years and who is more nostalgic than he knows about England. I think this will be just the job as although it is about the past it seems to obliquely to say something essential about our national character and even present day conditions.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow burning Dickensian Tale 19 Nov 2012
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the third novel from Anthony Quinn, and his writing does show the assuredness of one who is at ease with his craft. This is the story of one David Wildeblood, he is newly arrived from Norfolk to the big dark and dirty city that was Dickensian London. He is to go into the employ of a newspaper man, Henry Marchmont, who publishes a weekly news sheet that chronicles the plight of the inhabitants of the slum areas of London, particularly near St Pancras, and other areas.

He is only concerned with reportage and not in addressing their plight or the exorbitant rents charged by the invisible landlords, who are mostly `gentleman' who exploit their tenants in an endless orgy of naked greed. Our Mr Wildeblood is young, inexperienced but keen as a new puppy to get involved. Problem is his accent and lack of street savvy prove to be a barrier to getting close to the people he is supposed to be reporting on. Then after a serendipitous meeting with a young costermonger, called Jo, he makes a true ally and friend who is not only able but also willing to aid him in his job. He is also rather taken with the sultry sister of his new chum, the young Rosa.

Well then he goes off on a campaign to expose the shenanigans of what is happening to the poor folk, and gets himself into all sorts of bother. So what, if anything, is wrong with this book? Well it was just unengaging, I loved the writing style, as it is done as if contemporary to the time it is set in, so a sort of Dickens tale in many ways. The use of language is excellent and very much accomplished, it is just that the story itself is a bit laboured, the characters are well fleshed out, but I found myself not really caring about them, except Jo, that is, who seemed to be a real salt of the earth type.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. Couldn't put it down and collided with a number of trees whilst walking to work, kindle firmly in hand, totally absorbed in Victorian London. The city came alive in a way that only Dickens or Wilkie Collins had conjured up for me before although Sarah Waters had a good stab at it. Quinn has an ear for dialogue and a command of vocabulary reminiscent (in a non naval way) of Patrick O'Brian.
Reflecting on it, however, I have to say that unlike Dickens the characters are, whilst not quite one dimensional, somewhat difficult to see from the side. Paradoxically they are described in a Dickensian manner, just not drawn with as much love or detail - a sketch rather than an oil or even a watercolour. The plot is sound and has been laid out in a little too much detail elsewhere but the naïveté of the country bumpkin is a little tenacious for my taste. The build up to the denouement is shockingly delayed and brief, the actual event, like so many things in life, is over all too quickly- in summary the pace is inconsistent. Furthermore, there are minor loose ends at the end of the book which I generally would find intensely irritating, yet here they add to the veracity of the tale.

It has great charm and I strongly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue and romance in the slums of 1870's London 30 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Comparisons with Dickens are likely to put off some readers that would warm to Quinn's less tragic style. It can be read as lighthearted entertainment.

This is the story of David Wildeblood, a somewhat disgraced young man from Norfolk who has taken up a job as a newspaper research in London. His new responsibility being to keep tabs on the goings on in the slum area of Somers town. When not working David mixes both with poor and the gentry. Among the gentry he discovers ever deepening scandal, including a worrying plan for eugenics based on social class. David's romantic soul draws him into investigating the shady activities of the moneyed classes, but he is slow to learn the art of discretion. David's interest in female companionship is equally as strong.

Anthony Quinn's talent for description and dialogue is exceptional. As a rule I am not very good at mentally picturing a scene as I read, but you cannot fail to envisage a clear image, when the writing is of this quality.

This book should be of interest to a wide readership with its elements of crime, investigation, romance, and sociological study.

A modern classic, that I would recommend to all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 5 days 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 26 days ago by Jo Hatfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 2 months ago by Linda Durman
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow burning but eventually engrossing read
I stumbled upon this book completely by accident. The bulk of my reading is in women's crime fiction at the moment but a passage of 'The Streets' came up when I was searching on... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Christine Burns
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes you deep into 19th century London
I found this book thoroughly interesting, the descriptions of London`s deprived streets in the 1880`s took you straight there. Read more
Published 5 months ago by M. Bailey
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
the two stars are for something of a potboiler but contemporary themes dressed up in thin stage costumes vaguely Victorian.
Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars The Streets
In 1882, David Wildeblood starts employment as an investigator for the weekly The Labouring Classes of London, Henry Marchmont's paper. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Keen Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story from old Victorian days
A good read, kept me interested all the way through. Excellent descriptions of dismal run down streets and poverty and squalour of the poor of Old London - you could have been... Read more
Published 12 months ago by RosieKeenan
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book
Interesting reading.I know the area so I can hold the slum pictures he creates, in words,in my mind..Anthony Quinn is a good writer
Published 14 months ago by mrs.evelyn clemens
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
This book is very difficult to read as the print is so small. You would need to read it in a good light and possibly with a magnifying glass. Read more
Published 15 months ago by anna
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