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London Bone Paperback – 8 May 2001

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First printing of this edition edition (8 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684861429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684861425
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 627,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This book is a must for all those like me who can't get enough of Moorcock's London fiction. He and Iain Sinclair (and possibly Peter Ackroyd) are by far and away the best writers on London and Moorcock is the most generous of them, imbuing his work with a warmth and enjoyment of people which you rarely find in modern fiction, certainly not in the London lads whose work seems to be a cult amongst cool boys, these days -- Self, Hornby, Amis and the rest. The first story is actually set in rural Oxfordshire and is about an old lady living alone who hears a sound in her closet. Moorcock misdirects us wonderfully and with a surprising, moving result. London Bone, the title story, is a wry satire on modern greed which sells its own heritage for immediate cash gains and loses something in the transaction. London Blood harks back to pre-war London and again has an old lady, this time looking back at her South London past. I know of no other writer who has given us such a broad AND deep picture of the capital. The Clapham Antichrist is another parable for our times, dealing with a vicar who is sacked by his church when he has visions. All the stories have the same clarity and humanity we associate with Moorcock who, of all modernist experimenters, seems to have the unsentimental heart of a great Victorian. As Angela Carter said of him somewhere 'his work makes that of the majority of his contemporaries seem mean and cautious in comparison'. I would recommend this book as one to give someone who has never read Moorcock before.
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By A Customer on 28 April 2001
Format: Paperback
If you thought King of the City a bit of a slam dance through the eighties and nineties but loved Mother London, you won't be disappointed with London Bone, which is much more the Moorcock of Mother London -- some of the stories are perfect little cameos. I was struck by how many of these stories were written from female viewpoints (about half) and what sympathy and understanding they revealed for 'ordinary' women. Angus Wilson in Late Call is the only other man I can remember writing this well about women in this way, though Roddie Doyle was also very good. There is nothing hugely dramatic about these women's lives but the stories are about a particular moment, sometimes dramatic, sometimes, as in A Winter Admiral, eloquently undramatic (this was one of several stories that made me cry). Almost all Moorcock's characters are ordinry Londoners struggling to get through, usually pretty cheerfully, and in only a couple of the stories is there a hint of fantasy. Moorcock will often lead you to expect fantasy -- and then give you a solid, and moving, dose of very real life. This would make a fine introduction to Moorcock, if you're daunted by his vast, but never sprawling, novels.
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By A Customer on 12 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
There's a strange quality to these stories. They have all the sturdiness of well-made Victorian pieces, yet they are dealing with modern life in a knowing and often very effective, not to say
affecting, way. Told often in very matter of fact styles, they contain an elegaic love for the best of the world and its people, while never ignoring the harsh realities of urban life. These are city stories by a confirmed urbanite. For a writer who started his career as a sort of souped-up Tolkien, this is refreshing, engaged and original in ways that are never flashy, always substantial and always full of the same affection for the marginalised and forgotten dwellers in the city's
sidestreets and quiet, unknown places where not only the old city survives -- but her old virtues. If you loved Mother London, as I did, and found King of the City a bit intense, you will be very glad to read and enjoy this book. It also contains a very informative essay at the end on all kinds of London writers who don't get mentioned by Peter Ackroyd in his biography -- which would make a splendid companion to this. Both Moorcock, Ackroyd and Sinclair celebrate the city which most people only get a hint of. Their habits of walking, talking and actually living in their city, observing its details, have some of the same application which made the romantic PreRaphaelites return to detailed reality. This is romantic, at root, but it has an underlying quality of common sense and common humanity which makes us fall in love with this generous, furious,
great-hearted English writer.
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By A Customer on 8 July 2001
Format: Paperback
These stories are so good, so full of rich ingredients and generous portions it feels a bit as if you've just left a restaurant called London Bone! There's no one like Michael Moorcock. He might be a bit of an anachronism and contradictory but his work has an old-fashioned unsentimental quality about it which really does remind you of a modern, savvy Dickens. Moorcock's interest in the past has been evident in some of his most ambitious and successful science fictions, but he doesn't merely revive and examine the past without any nostalgia, he sets it in a context which allows people to speak for themselves, tell their own stories and yet somehow slip you the information which gives you a whole new angle on what they're telling you. I love this stuff. It is so robust and strong and warm compared with most other modern fiction. If you want something with the social sensibilities of the best Victorians combined with a modern eye for the latest political fashion fad or way of speaking, this could be your answer. It works well as an introduction to his more substantial work, like Mother London. And 'more substantial' means that you get in this book the equivalent of a couple of good novels and a Moorcock novel is the equivalent of most other writers entire ouevre! He can be a quick, lazy writer sometimes, but never, ever a bad one. I think these are some of his best short stories in years.
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