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Thuggery Affair (Fanfare) Paperback – 21 May 1979

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Paperback, 21 May 1979
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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New edition edition (21 May 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571113303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571113309
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,915,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is an essential purchase for fans of Antonia Forest. The story takes place during a half term at Trennels, sometime after 'End of Term' and before "Cricket Term'. In fact there are three books in this slot, 'Peter's Room', 'The Thuggery Affair' and 'The Ready Made Family' (in that order).
The action involves Peter, Patrick and Lawrie, as they encounter a gang of possibly criminal "teds". The gang look after racing pigeons, and speak in a bizarre dialect of their own. Luckily Patrick understands them, and decodes enough of their statements to give a reasonably intelligent reader sufficient clues to follow most of the dialogue.
There is certainly a lot of action but much of it seems rather far fetched and a few of Peter/Patrick/Lawrie's decisions appear to be suprisingly dim.
However, for fans of the series, there are a lot of cross references: e.g. we get to see inside the Merick family's secret room; the canoe (planned in 'Peter's Room') is actually on the river; there's a falcon (though she seems to need less time and care than the falcons in 'The Falconer's Lure'); and Lawrie has to try to stand on her own two feet for a while.
I wouldn't want to read this book in isolation; it's only in its context (the fantastic series of books about the Marlows) that it deserves the 3 stars that I have awarded it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Bently VINE VOICE on 14 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There can't be many books which take pigeon racing as their theme. Congratulations then to Antonia Forest for choosing to beat her own path.
Unfortunately there are a lot of problems with The Thuggery Affair, not least the very detailed descriptions of medieval dove cotes and an electronic system for detecting whether the birds have roosted. My mind boggled.
On the upside, there are some thrilling scenes. I particularly relished Lawrie's transformation into a ted chick and Peter's attempt to evade and distract the thugs with the help of a steamroller and Ann's new bicycle. Forest's usual magical way with words is also often on display: Lawrie 'dwindles back into herself' on realizing the reality of her situation.
Ultimately The Thuggery Affair will only appeal to Marlow completists and may well be a struggle even for them. The long final scene involving the gang leader's back story, a discussion of Catholic doctrine and the H-bomb, although impressive in its way, is not the exciting climax usually found in thrillers or Marlow adventures.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Love Antonia Forest's Marlows, didn't care for this book 18 Feb. 2006
By Gen of North Coast Gardening - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the only book by Antonia Forest that I haven't cared for. The Marlow books were written so far apart, and each one supposedly takes place in the forties or fifties, but each one tends to take on some of the flavor of the years in which it was actually written. I love this about the other books, but in this one, that strange time-displacement doesn't work.

This one is obviously set in the sixties and involves some shady activity by some wayward youths, whom the Marlows hope to catch in action. The slang is ridiculously overdone and the language makes it hard to relax and get into the story. Added to that, I didn't care for the auxiliary characters and couldn't sympathise with them.

This is worth reading if you are a really big Marlows fan (I have read Falconer's Lure about forty times and this one twice, to give you an idea of its relative merits), but if you haven't read the others leading up to this point, put off purchasing this one until you are at this point in the series or are out of other Marlow reading material, because it doesn't add very much to our understanding of the Marlows and wasn't a great story on its own.

That said, a weak Antonia Forest is still better reading material than a lot of other things you could pick up, and it is interesting to see her struggling with writing in a modern way when times were changing so quickly, so it is a good late addition to your collection.

Girls Gone by has done a great job with these reprints, and they feel sturdy, have good print, and have some neat background info in the front of each republished title. The AF books have an intro by AF written just for these reprints, written before she passed away in 2003.
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