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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping but well written novel
Derek Raymond is an overlooked genius, perhaps because most of his books dwell on the seamy side of life and were probably too "not nice" for the reading tastes of the sixties and seventies.
The Crust on Its Uppers is not his best work (for that I would recommend the Factory series of novels (most of which appear to be out of print, but can be found on...
Published on 4 July 2000 by G. H. Fraser-sampson

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2.0 out of 5 stars Hmm...
I find Derek Raymond very overrated, and very difficult to read. He seems to be the sort of writer who has spent a lot of time in pubs and generally ligging and has convinced a publisher or two and many posh reviewers that he has a handle on the seamy side of life. I've read I was Dora Suarez, snagged by its great title, but found it overwritten, unconvincing about the...
Published 21 months ago by John Gammon


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping but well written novel, 4 July 2000
By 
G. H. Fraser-sampson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Crust On Its Uppers (Five Star) (Paperback)
Derek Raymond is an overlooked genius, perhaps because most of his books dwell on the seamy side of life and were probably too "not nice" for the reading tastes of the sixties and seventies.
The Crust on Its Uppers is not his best work (for that I would recommend the Factory series of novels (most of which appear to be out of print, but can be found on bibliofind) which feature a cynical detective working in the Department of Unexplained Deaths).
However, this book is still much finer than most things you will pick off the shelf of a bookstore today. The central characters are public school boys ("morries") who feel the world owes them a living because their background makes them superior to those around them. In fact, they are nasty, shallow characters who progress from bent gambling, through fraud to international crime. Their arrogance and misplaced snobbery make them even more unlikeable, which is exactly Raymond's style.
The characters who flit in and out of the pages of this book are well observed (almost certainly from the life in London pubs) and credible members of the criminal demi-monde.
Raymond is a serious literary novelist who happens to set his novels against crime backgrounds. He should be held up as an example of the writer's craft to any modern author.
You will enjoy this book and remember it long after you read it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Hmm..., 14 July 2012
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John Gammon (Brighton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Crust On Its Uppers (Five Star) (Paperback)
I find Derek Raymond very overrated, and very difficult to read. He seems to be the sort of writer who has spent a lot of time in pubs and generally ligging and has convinced a publisher or two and many posh reviewers that he has a handle on the seamy side of life. I've read I was Dora Suarez, snagged by its great title, but found it overwritten, unconvincing about the world of the police and, in its graphic detail of hamster/anus intercourse, rather silly and distasteful. I'm reading this one but not enjoying it; clearly he's spent a long time studying tomes on argot at the British Library and working in every word he's learned in every sentence, which is exactly how NOT to write slang. For instance, in real life rhyming slang has always only been used sparingly (see Bill Naughton on how to do it properly) - Raymond thinks it's an alternative language. I suppose it's possible that he's out to create a Damon Runyon-style world in 1960s London, but for me it's not a convincing picture. For instance, his main character is supposed to be like Raymond a fallen public schoolboy, so why does every word out of his mouth sound like he's been working on an East End barrow from age 5?
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The Crust On Its Uppers (Five Star)
The Crust On Its Uppers (Five Star) by Derek Raymond (Paperback - 12 Oct 2000)
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