6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Parallels but little crossover,
This review is from: Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire: A Confidential Report (Hardcover)
A good friend brought me this book back from London....he knew I was born and bread in Hackney. I approached it with a sense of excitment that often occurs when we feel we may recognise something being written about. It is clever in the way it is written, too clever. Here the writer has an almost fanatical obsession for making things difficult for the reader. At times looking away from the page would make you fearful that you would lose track, get lost just by glancing elsewhere. Sinclair speaks of places, many places where I lived, grew up and know well. Somehow he misses the point. He seems to have little real connection with the places in question. Others have said that he completely misses the local viewpoint. In one chapter he makes the true comment that the children of West Indian parents can't afford to live/buy in the borough they were born in....hello Iain this is true of all working class people's children in Hackney.....the right to buy of the parents gave little benefit to their kids who moved away to Essex and Hertfordshire. Perhaps talking to more locals would have helped. In the end as a Hackney exile or escapee I have at least been prompted to look again at where I grew up.....no real thanks to Iain Sinclair who ran a very parallel race to the one I ran but with few crossovers.