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The White Room Paperback – 7 Mar 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (7 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743449525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743449526
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,420,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Martyn Waites worked as a professional actor before becoming a writer. A former Writer in Residence at Huntercombe Young Offenders' Institution and HMP Chelmsford, he currently runs arts-based workshops for socially excluded teenagers.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arturo on 6 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
Waites' Born Under Punches is perhaps the best novel to have been written about the Miners' Strike. The style of The White Room is similar, but more monochromatic. The characters are unremittingly immoral and unpleasant and as a result the effect is one-dimensional, even though the writing is delicate and sophisticated. There is perhaps a more subtle message here about the way that morality is socially formed but, if so, the writing is too savage to allow that to emerge. But it is a compelling read and, maybe, an important one, too. There are very few British writers (David Peace might be an exception) writing about Northern England like this. I was both fascinated and repelled by it. Waites is an important author and, I think, could become a great author, at least in articulating a particular - significant - slice of British post-war experience.
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Format: Paperback
09/06/2007

`The White Room' by Martyn Waites

Martyn Waites follows on from the highly successful `Born Under Punches' with a work of similar sonority that is written with his same infectious style. `The White Room' is a tale of raw, brutal lives in post-war Newcastle which seizes the mood of a city suffering from a lack of identity in the years following World War II. Although the synopsis is slightly mis-leading the novel is another book that has twists and turns at every corner and like his previous novel leads to a crescendo of crude, gripping sub-plots which leaves no taboo subject untouched. It reads like a cross between some of Elmore Leonard's early work (such as Swag) and has the same raw, untouched realism of the film `Get Carter'. It paints a picture of tough urban life in a hard city and Waite's' again hits home the harsh message of making the best of situations without hope. It focuses on half a dozen characters (which epitomise the people of a region struggling to cope in post-war North-East England) and quickly flits between their plights to result in an action filled finale which is as violent as it is compelling. All in all, a gripping read, and although not quite as punchy as his debut novel, it is still a thrilling piece of work.

6 out of 10, ****

By Andy Edgeworth
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By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE on 29 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
The White Room is a tale of municipal corruption with its associated violent criminality. As a side dish it also serves up a story of how "child monsters" can be created.

Set in the three decades after the Second World war the book certainly captures an authentic atmosphere. You can sense the hope that people felt with the new building projects and the disappointment that followed when these failed. Changing social mores are also well portrayed. The authenticity is reinforced by passing references to real events. This does fail at one point when Jimi Hendrix plays "All Along the Watchtower" two years before it was written (but this only really matters to music anoraks like me).

Waites conjures up an interesting tale, but given the subject matter of the sub-plot and the extreme violence it is not one for the faint hearted. Suspects are more likely to be encased in concrete than they are to be gathered in the library.

Although it can be a bit hackneyed at times (in a "grim up North" sort of way), this is well worth a read if you like gritty drama linked to real life events.
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