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Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
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Rivers of London (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Ben Aaronovitch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5472172,365 (3.9)472
Member:aliena0811
Title:Rivers of London
Authors:Ben Aaronovitch
Info:Gollancz (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Currently borrowed by others
Rating:****
Tags:2012

Work details

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (2011)

  1. 240
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (riverwillow)
    riverwillow: Both 'Neverwhere' and 'Rivers of London' (US title 'Midnight Riot') evoke a magical fairy tale London which sometimes feels more authentic then any real life guide to the city.
  2. 213
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (majkia)
    majkia: both involve paranormal mystery and smart-ass dialog.
  3. 61
    A Madness of Angels: Or, the Resurrection of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: Same Location, similar themes. Both Capture the essence of London.
  4. 40
    Rule 34 by Charles Stross (fhprice)
    fhprice: Besides the urban setting and police procedural genre similarities, both have protagonists with a snarky "we're just cogs making witty observations about the machine" voices. Wicked humor.
  5. 62
    The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: It's difficult to explain this recommendation without giving spoilers to one or other of the books. There were certain plot elements to Rivers of London/Midnight Riots which made me think of The Big Over Easy. And both books have a well-developed sense of humour.… (more)
  6. 30
    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (Rubbah)
  7. 30
    Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (Mav.Weirdo)
  8. 52
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books have a certain dark British humour to them.
  9. 20
    Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older (rarm)
  10. 20
    Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: The way that the river spirits are characterized is similar to the characters in Archer's Goon. Same feel/style.
  11. 20
    King Rat by China Miéville (mikewilliams64)
    mikewilliams64: London urban fantasy with malevolent magic in the wings. Sharp contemporary horror from the beginning of Mieville's career
  12. 10
    No Hero by Jonathan Wood (Rouge2507)
    Rouge2507: Similar: British policeman fights against the supernatural
  13. 10
    Stray Souls by Kate Griffin (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both are a bit quirky, set in London, and deal with the spirits of things, magic and murder.
  14. 10
    The New York Magician by Jacob Zimmerman (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both books have a similar way of portraying Gods and Powers and both are urban fantasy/mysteries
  15. 00
    The Severed Streets by Paul Cornell (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both series feature British police who deal with supernatural crime and both are more creative and well written than the average urban fantasy
  16. 00
    Nightfall by Stephen Leather (agneson9)
    agneson9: features supernatural/paranormal side of London
  17. 11
    Never the Bride by Paul Magrs (jonathankws)
  18. 00
    Bryant & May and the Memory of Blood by Christopher Fowler (hairball)
    hairball: Two books with Punch & Judy-themed murders--must be something in the water in London.
  19. 01
    Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding (Alliebadger)
  20. 67
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: Both books feature an apparent normal world where magic takes place behind the scenes.

(see all 21 recommendations)

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» See also 472 mentions

English (215)  German (4)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (223)
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
I really liked this book.

I picked it up in an airport before a 12 flight back home to Australia, and half-hoped it would be interesting enough to keep me awake while I flew home. I couldn't put it down.

It's dry, it's funny, it's self-depreciating, it pokes fun at so much British culture which I adore. The main character is a black guy who's a copper, in London - so if you're looking for books with protagonists of colour, this book is brilliant.

It also has a really fantastic female protagonist named Lesley, and I wish she had a spin-off series so I could just read about her for forever.

I loved reading this book, I loved reading about London, I loved the characters - the plot was a little weak but the quips about British politics all make up for it. c:

(I can see that some people didn't like it a lot, though, so maybe it was just the jet-lag?) ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
"... the public doesn't like it when the police start screaming; it contributes to an impression of things not being conducive to public calm." I like it when I come across a book that doesn't feel like dozens of other books that I've already read. This droll urban fantasy kept presenting me with unexpected situations and characters. Constable Peter Grant encounters a ghost at a crime scene. That surprising occurrence leads him to being assigned to work with inspector Thomas Nightingale, a wizard who comprises a one-man X files-like unit of the police.

I didn't know that there are a Mother and Father of the Thames and that they don't exactly get along. There are also has vampires, trolls and magic in London. The team winds up investigating a spate of cases where people die due to their faces falling off. You have to admit that's different.

Grant is inexperienced with all things supernatural. As Nightingale tries to teach him magic and how to police some unusual criminals, Grant is self-deprecating, but intelligent, and a worthy apprentice for Nightingale. I liked both characters but I definitely learned more about Grant in this book. I hope that I find out more about Nightingale in subsequent books in the series. ( )
  fhudnell | Aug 10, 2016 |
Peter Grant is a modern mixed-race London policeman just finishing training and fearing being assigned to the Case Progression Unit (paper shufflers) when he finds himself interviewing a ghost who witnessed a bizarre murder and is assigned instead as apprentice to the last surviving London police wizard, Inspector Nightengale. The magic is well thought out and seriously difficult to learn, the villain is seriously nasty, and some of the female characters are charming, though unfortunately one is taken over by the villainous revenant who is causing a string of ugly incidents. Besides solving that case, Grant and his mater have to negotiate the quarrel between Father Thames (who controls the upper reaches of the river) and Mother Thames, a relatively recently deified African immigrant woman, who controls the tidal regions, each with a court of literally tributary river spirits.I enjoyed the early stages of the story, but after the villain took over the heroine it seemed to go down hill. I feel it could have been finished off more quickly and neatly in a more emotionally satisfying way. ( )
  antiquary | Jul 7, 2016 |
An amiable, popcornish urban fantasy which marries a get-yer-trousers-on-you're-nicked Metropolitan Police nostalgia with an interest in English folklore and esoterica. Actually, now I come to write that down, it sounds fantastic, although in practice it never quite got dense or chewy enough for me…snappy rather than laugh-out-loud funny, diverting rather than engrossing.

The most successful ingredient for me was the deep love of London, whose baffling geography both urban and physical is woven into the narrative at all levels. (Sometimes to a fault – long descriptions about coming off the A282 and getting caught in traffic at the Thurrock roundabout are dangerously close to the sort of conversations certain men like to spring on me at dinner parties.)

But London is – and I say this with all the disinterest of someone who left the place as soon as I could – in my opinion the richest, most genuinely multicultural, and frankly coolest big city on the planet, although god knows I'd much rather experience it now as a visitor than a resident. So taking this deep dive into the city, and wallowing in a narrative written in my own accent, was a huge pleasure for me; the climactic sequence which sees our hero literally running back through London's history tied the book's plot and its themes together in a beautifully enjoyable set-piece. And the lead, PC Peter Grant, is the kind of laid-back bloke in whose company you're more than happy to spend 400 pages.

Strangely enough, the book's use of Mr Punch to symbolise a certain kind of English riotousness and misrule establishes strange and interesting connections between this novel and Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker, which would make a fascinating follow-up read. It also made me want to go back to Will Self, Peter Ackroyd, Ian Sinclair, even Ronald Hutton – all those influences are in here, though not so much synthesised as vaguely gestured at.

Although the voice and the outlook of this are much more me, still if pushed I'd have to admit that in the end I probably preferred The Magicians (to make a comparison with literally the only other fantasy book I've read in the last decade). I would read more in the series, though, very willingly. Not one to rush out and acquire, perhaps, but if you've got a long train ride or a wet weekend coming up, it's well worth a butcher's. ( )
1 vote Widsith | Jun 29, 2016 |
This is a highly entertaining series with action, humour and disturbing references to Punch and Judy. The authors love of London in the sense of the historical as well as the urban mayhem is evident. ( )
  HeleneE | Jun 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
Sometimes There Are Men Who Get It Right This author is proof that men can actually grok the full humanity of le deuxième sexe, and write it into their fictional worlds. without having the female characters come across as either absent, ciphers, stereotypes, or sex-fantasies.

(Rivers of London/Midnight Riot, Moon Over Soho, and Whispers Under Ground) are smart, sharp, fast, witty books with a real sense of place (the place being London, if you hadn’t guessed). They’re told from the point of view of PC Peter Grant, who gets himself mixed up in some deeply Weird Shit in the opening chapters of Rivers of London—and the icing on the cake is that Peter is surrounded by a variety of women who are more competent than he is in any number of ways. And he’s okay with that.

Don’t get me wrong. Peter is still a guy, and occasionally a right arse. But the women in these books are real and human—even when they’re not. Human, that is.
added by feeling.is.first | editTor.com, Liz Bourke (Sep 11, 2012)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ben Aaronovitchprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dürr, KarlheinzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holdbrook-Smith, KobnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quadrelli, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youssi, WesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Yet ah! why should they know their fate?

Since sorrow never comes too late,

And happiness too swiftly flies.

Thought would destroy their paradise.

No more; where ignorance is bliss,

'Tis folly to be wise.

Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College by Thomas Gray
Dedication
In memory of Colin Ravey, because some people are too large to be contained by just the one universe.
First words
It started at one thirty on a cold Tuesday morning in January when Martin Turner, street performer and, in his own words, apprentice gigolo, tripped over a body in front of the West Portico of St Paul's at Covent Garden.
Quotations
He sliced it in half to show us the interior. It looked like a diseased cauliflower.
”And this ,” said Dr. Walid, “is your brain on magic.”
I returned to the coach house with a packet of marigold gloves and my Uncle Tito’s Numatic vacuum cleaner. Let me tell you – a thousand watts of suckage makes a big difference
The chip that handled RF conversion was superficially intact, but had suffered microscopic pitting across its entire surface. The patterns reminded me of Mr. Coopertown’s brain. This was my phone on magic, I thought.
(Tyburn discounts Peter’s authority over the Folly) - “I am a sworn constable,” I said. “And that makes me an officer of the law. And I am an apprentice, which makes me a keeper of the sacred flame, but most of all I am a free man of London and that makes me a Prince of the City.”
Mr. Punch was running for his afterlife, but I was gaining.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
The name's Peter Grant.
I'm a police constable
and trainee wizard.
(passion4reading)
Complex plot features
river gods and goddesses,
old magic and ghosts.
(passion4reading)
Down by the river:

“Get yer trousers on, you're nicked…

Despite being dead.”

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034552425X, Mass Market Paperback)

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:02 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"As a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic"-- P. [4] of cover.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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