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on 9 October 2017
The book has an unusual story line and is quite interesting.
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on 13 June 2004
Having read most Ackroyd novels (and loving them!!!) I was a bit disappointed after reading this one. The style is there and everything, but the story doesn't quite gel. You can't expect Ackroyd to produce books like "Chatterton" and "First Light" on a daily basis, but he can certainly write better books than "the Great Fire of London", which in fact he did. This novel is for hardcore fans only, definitely not for Ackroyd newbies.
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VINE VOICEon 8 November 2011
Ackroyd's first novel outlines many of the themes that he has explored since in his prolific output. At the centre of things, the city of London, the interweaving of past and present, high literary content with reference to Dickens, and a ragbag collection of eccentric, unlikeable characters who wander through the story in rather haphazard style.

Just what the book is about is open to several interpretations, but at least at 167 pages it is blissfully short - unlike much of Ackroyd's later outpourings. As a novelist, his books are quite hard work to read, and ideas jump around all over the place - a style of writing that was certainly established here in this opening novel.

Critical acclaim abounds on the paperback edition - frankly these days as a first novel it probably wouldn't get accepted.
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