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In the Dark Paperback – 6 Mar 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099507129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099507123
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 336,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"From the first perfect sentence this novel is a gem. Its pared sentences and vocabulary really capture the time" (Evening Standard)

"The Moggacch miracle continues- here's another vivid, gripping yarn from the author of Tulip Fever... with a plot as twisty as a mountain road" (The Times)

"This wartime novel of ordinary Londoners is atmospheric and buzzing with electricity... a spirited portrait of lives thrown into turmoil by the Great War" (Daily Express)

"Like the recent novels by Ian McEwan and Sarah Waters, In the Dark successfully modernises the past. By focusing on life's murkier undercurrents... the characters come to seem appealingly familiar" (Sophia Harrison Sunday Times)

"A thoughtful diligent writer" (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

From the bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a story of war and desire set in South London's dark and dirty streets during WWI.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent
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Format: Hardcover
Set in a narrow terraced house in a London street, just after the start of World War I, In The Dark, tells the story of Ralph, aged 14, living with Mum and Dad, in their lodging house consisting of tenants who are mostly misfits and war casualties. Dad enlisted early and sends cheerful letters home telling of matey japes and football games in the trenches. Then Mum, Eithne, receives the telegram telling her that her husband is dead and circumstances become grim, until she attracts the attention of the flashy local butcher, Neville Turk, after which meals at the lodging house vastly improve and other changes are afoot for the inhabitants.

Moggach's rich stew of character-driven experiences captivates from the first page and there is an authentic feeling to every turn of the plot. The lodging house, next to a railway viaduct and prone to soot streaks and general grime, is almost another character as, Eithne's maid-of-all-work, Winnie, finds herself increasingly responsible for the well-being and upkeep of the family's proprieties. Young Ralph hero-worships the world-weary Boycie, soon to march off to war, and Eithne falls under the spell of the brilliantined and ebullient Mr Turk. Before the end of the novel Ralph will uncover a number of secrets kept by the family's lodgers, not least the shocking truth about the blind Communist sympathiser Alwyne Flyte.

This warm-hearted, funny and often touching novel is briskly paced and a pleasure to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like to be teased, surprised, intrigued and intermittently moved then buy this. It has a gripping story with lots of wartime detail, and characters that could grace a Dickens novel. It's not for the prudish though, as it snakes around a number of relationships, but it's never salacious, just inviting and involving.
You don't see the ending coming, which makes it better to read than many over-critiqued films are to watch.
Buy it and enjoy the fireworks!
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Format: Paperback
This is basically a love story set in the dark days of WWI, when soldiers are returning home unable to speak of the horrors that they have witnessed. As usual Deborah Moggach manages to explore the alternative facets of the time she is writing about, and that is what makes this such an enthralling read.

The lives of the lodgers, the maid, who seems little more than a slave, but grateful to have a position, and Eithne and her son, who run the boarding house, are all portrayed in their grim reality; and then Neville arrives. Eithne is blind to everything but the excitement he brings into her life. But...carry on reading as of course there is more to most of the characters than meets the eye.

This is another excellent book from Deborah Moggach, although I did find it a little slow at the beginning, hence 4 stars, but glad I persevered.
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Format: Paperback
Deborah Moggach is one of those well-selling female authors who's sometimes looked down on for not being literary. Like Joanna Trollope or Anita Shreve, say her detractors, she's a popular - populist - author churning out domestic sagas on a conveyor belt.

This simplification does these successful authors a disservice. They may deal with the everyday and their prose may indeed be accessible and non literary, but that doesn't mean their work should be undervalued. Any author that can bring reading to the masses deserves praise, and, as with Richard and Judy's recommended titles, sometimes first impressions are just plain biased.

In The Dark is a frisky love story set during WW1. Attractive Eithne Clay has a variety of lodgers in her large dilapidated London home. Her loyal maid Winnie and adolescent son Ralph help her run the place. Eithne, however, has always felt she's destined for higher things, and when excitement enters her life in the form of the lusty hulking form of Neville Turk the local butcher, she is swept up into a passionate affair. Meanwhile, the lives of those around them continues, with some disgruntlement.

If it weren't for the setting, Moggach's Orange 2008 longlisted novel would just be a bodice-ripper with added colour from peripheral characters. But Moggach has done her research and the smog-ridden, sooty London of 1916 - 18 really comes alive. Because the details are so convincing, the characters also rise from the page.

Very occasionally, a word that is so archaic crops up that one wonders whether it has been planted just for the sake of its age, for instance when Moggach describes Ralph's 'pollutions' at night (use your imagination).
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this page turner. It is witty and amusing and has some interesting allusions to light and dark in a true Thomas Hardy way. It is a light read with some raunchy moments and in retrospect has an air of Adrian Mole's Diary about it. The characters are well depicted albeit without a great deal of depth but the narrative runs smooth and fast, like the steam trains that run behind their house.
I recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
In this book Deborah Moggach has written a wonderful character driven story, its wonderful descriptive writing and keeps you intrigued throughout. It's touching, funny and saucy in parts and has some great twists to the story. This is the first book I have read of Deborah Moggach and I will definitely be reading more in the future. It's a master class in writing.
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