A frustratingly interesting book that covers a fairly known "Fleet Street Legend". Yet the book is a poor execution, needing a good editor to shine and polish the text. It is like reading a poorly translated legal text with many errors, poor structures and just zzzzzz..
I feel more "angry" that this interesting, important subject has been rendered quite impotent due to the poor production or packaging of the text. There are not many books I give up with along the way, sadly this is one of them.
on 23 May 2005
I am about halfway though, and it is a bit of a struggle. The writing is rather stilted, and does not flow easily - this is because the narative is based almost exclusively on interviews and video recordings of Benji Pell, the Sewer Rat of the title; little further research seems to have been done by the author.
In addition, the production is dreadful; typos everywhere, and phrases that jar because they don't make sense ("Pell gave a similar account, saying which he filmed outside London Records." I beg your pardon?).
The author goes overboard with his annotations, perhaps because his only research is other people's. For example, when he states that 'Benjamin Pell was born on December 23rd 1963...' he references his birth certificate! Come on, this is ridiculous.
All in all, the story merited more research, better writing and better production values (particularly for a hardback).