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The Long Firm Paperback – 1 Jul 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Jul 1999
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Product details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; First Edition edition (1 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034074877X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340748770
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 23.4 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,799,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

"What's breaking into a bank compared with founding one?" Bertolt Brecht's provocative question opens Jake Arnott's first novel The Long Firm and sets the scene for its memorable exploration of the London underworld at the beginning of the 1960s. Five very different characters tell their five very different stories about "Torture Gang Boss" Harry Starks. A man who "liked to break people" but also a "frightened little child" is how his lover and kept boy Terry recalls him; a "lower-class tearaway", according to the Tory lord who frequents his erotic parties; a depressive with a diabolical mind, one who likes to "stage manage the fear", in the eyes of his various criminal and starlet peers; a product of working-class subculture and a living critique of capitalism, concludes the radical young sociologist who teaches him in prison. Harry Starks is the beginning and end of The Long Firm, a compelling showman who embodies the brutal realism and impossible dreams at the heart of Arnott's vision of London low life. The glamour and corruption of that life drive this story but Arnott manages to weave cliche into enigma, myth into inquiry, in a way that revitalises the well-worn images of the mad and the bad. As Starks would put it, keeping Brecht's question before the readers' eyes, "It's all about the economy of power, Lenny". --Vicky Lebeau


" Harry, a club-owning gangster, takes you through '60s London meeting people such as The Krays, a bent Lord, a Barbara Windsor clone and a series of "pretty boys".
"Arnott's immaculate storytelling enthralls and compells. The slickest book of the summer "

Fantastic - I absolutely couldn't put it down (Terry O'Neill)

'This is a gangster novel that recaptures to perfection the world of the sixties....Good stuff' Newcastle Evening Chronicle

It's so realistic, it makes Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels seem like Listen With Mother (Elle)

the finest first novel of the year (Gay Times)

The story rattles along at a tremendous pace, and joyfully evokes the spirit of both the original era of Cool Brittannia, and its darker, underworld shadow.' Lancashire Evening Post

'Jake Arnott's ear for dialogue and eye for detail is so acute that the end result is a literary paradox - sophisticated pulp fiction' Metro

a powerful debut (The Bookseller)

'An immensely readable and stylish gangster thriller set in the 60s...all very convincingly done and is a riveting read. A measure of Arnott's skill is the way that the reader wants the vile, murderous Harry to succeed' Gay Times

Arnott brilliantly captures the gaudy, glamorous, seedy and sordid side of the 60s underworld and show business society. A must-read (Elle)

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78 customer reviews

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