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Red Riding Nineteen Seventy Seven: Red Riding Quartet (original 2000; edition 2008)

by David Peace

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435924,192 (3.73)38
Member:dioxynucleic
Title:Red Riding Nineteen Seventy Seven: Red Riding Quartet
Authors:David Peace
Info:Serpent's Tail (2008), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Crime

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Nineteen Seventy-Seven by David Peace (2000)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I'll put the same review on all four of them:
Nineteen Seventy-Four
Nineteen Seventy-Seven
Nineteen Eighty
Nineteen Eighty Three
I read them as a challenge - based on camaraderie with coworkers.
Once I started the series, didn't especially want to wimp out, and then was compelled to read thru to the last book to see if I could possibly figure out what the "ending" was.
I'm not faulting the author - it was a unique and compelling writing style and twisted plot with characters jumping back and forth between books.
I did it. I read them all. I think they got weirder and more difficult as they went along, but if you're looking for some intense, darkly challenging books - have at it.
Read in 2011. ( )
  CasaBooks | Apr 28, 2013 |
Brilliant novel set around the Yorkshire Ripper murders. Very dark, very bleak. Can't wait to read Nineteen Eighty, but at the same time would quite like to read something jolly and lighthearted... ( )
  Marie-Clare | Aug 15, 2011 |
The story within this book was narrated by Jack Whitehead, a more seasoned reporter working at the same paper as the reporter in the first book of the series. It is interspersed with narration by one of the police officers who was briefly introduced in the first book, Bob Fraser. The ripper murders are in full flow, with 1977 being the most prolific year for his killings. None of the characters were particularly likeable, but that didn't matter. The book was gripping and relentless in its descriptions of the violence and murders of 1977. ( )
  Fluffyblue | May 5, 2011 |
Nineteen Seventy-Four
Nineteen Seventy-Seven
Nineteen Eighty
Nineteen Eighty-Three

I was inspired to read this crime quartet by arubabookwoman's superb review below. In her summary, she wrote "These four novels are amazing. They are not, however, for everyone. There are obscenities on every page. Brutality and violence abound, sometimes graphically described. Everyone is corrupt. The novels are bleak, gritty, cynical and despairing. If this description doesn't bother you, I highly recommend these books. Read as one, they are a masterpiece."

There is little I can add to this, except to say that Peace's writing is exceptional. Even though it can often be difficult to know who is talking or thinking, the way Peace gets inside people's heads so that his writing replicates how they think is astounding and, indeed, often poetic, despite the obscenity and graphic violence. I couldn't put these books down, even as they horrified me.
  rebeccanyc | Mar 31, 2011 |
These books (1974, 1977, 1980, and 1983)collectively constitute The Red Riding Hood Quartet, a series of crime novels based on the Yorkshire Ripper murders. I had read the first in the series, Nineteen Seventy-four last year, and thought it would be a simple matter to pick up with Nineteen Seventy-seven (which BTW is on the 1001 list) and proceed. However, I soon determined that I needed to reread Nineteen Seventy-four, which I did, and when I finished Nineteen Seventy-seven, I had to immediately go onto Nineteen Eighty and then Nineteen Eighty-three. I can't remember when I've read so many books by the same author in such a concentrated amount of time. (I devoured these over several days). In my view, these four books can only be read as one novel.

The first book in the series is narrated by a novice crime reporter, and concerned the solving of a series of child murders, some of which occurred several years before 1974, when the book is set. It is grim and bleak, and about terrible people doing terrible things. In this book, we are introduced to some of the corrupt policemen who are the core of this series.

Nineteen Seventy-seven is narrated by Jack Whitehead, a senior crime reporter who had made an appearance in the first book as the arrogant, wisecracking rival of the narrator in the first book. Now that we are in his mind, we can see that he is a psychological wreck, with self-induced demons haunting him.

Whitehead's sections alternate with sections narrated by Bobby Fraser, a policeman who made a brief but important appearance in the first book. In that book, he was a rookie, and was ethical with a sense of fair play. Three years later, he is unrecognizable--corrupt and violent.

In Nineteen Seventy-seven the Ripper murders begin, but are not solved. As in Nineteen Seventy-four, the narrative flows freely back and forth in time, and is for the most part in stream of consciousness. It is again a novel without a hero, full of terrible people.

In Nineteen Eighty the murders continue, and we meet the first character we can like. Peter Hunter, an investigator from another district, is sent to review the Ripper investigation to determine whether the failure to solve the case is due to incompetence, or to some clue that has been overlooked. Again the narrative travels loosely back and forth in time, and more and more of the rampant police corruption becomes known to the reader.

Each of these first three novels ends with a huge bang, although we sometimes are not entirely sure what actually happened. It is not until the ensuing book that we are entirely aware of what happened, and the ramifications it has for the characters and the investigation.

Nineteen Eight-three is narrated from the pov of three characters. John Piggot, a sleazy solicitor who is trying to prove that the man convicted of the child murders in the first book was framed, narrates his sections in the first person. BJ, a "rent boy" who has made appearances in the first three novels, narrates his sections, referring to himself in the second person. The final sections are told from the point of view of a corrupt police official.

Nineteen Eight-three winds and unwinds, not unlike a symphonic exposition, all the threads begun in the first novel. It shifts back and forth in time over nearly twenty years. As in the first three novels, it also ends with a bang, and again we are not quite sure of all of the ramifications. Unfortunately, there will be no succeeding books to enlighten us.

These four novels are amazing. They are not, however, for everyone. There are obscenties on every page. Brutality and violence abound, sometimes graphicly described. Everyone is corrupt. The novels are bleak, gritty, cynical and despairing. If this description doesn't bother you, I highly recommend these books. Read as one, they are a masterpiece. ( )
1 vote arubabookwoman | Mar 14, 2011 |
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Leeds. Sunday 29 May 1977. It's happening again: When the two sevens clash ...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307455092, Paperback)

David Peace's acclaimed Red Riding Quartet continues with this exhilarating follow-up to Nineteen Seventy-Four. It's summer in Leeds and the city is anxiously awaiting the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Detective Bob Fraser and Jack Whitehead, a reporter at the Post, however, have other things on their minds-mainly the fact that someone is murdering prostitutes. The killer is quickly dubbed the “Yorkshire Ripper” and each man, on their own, works tirelessly to catch him. But their investigations turn grisly as they each engage in affairs with the prostitutes they are supposedly protecting. As the summer progresses, the killings accelerate and it seems as if Fraser and Whitehead are the only men who suspect or care that there may be more than one killer at large.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"It's summer in Leeds and the city is anxiously awaiting the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Detective Bob Fraser and Jack Whitehead, a reporter at the Post, however, have other things on their minds--mainly the fact that someone is murdering prostitutes. The killer is quickly dubbed the "Yorkshire Ripper" and each man, on his own, works tirelessly to catch him. But their investigations turn grisly as they each engage in affairs with the women they are supposedly protecting. As the summer progresses, the killings accelerate and it seems as if Fraser and Whitehead are the only men who suspect, or care, that there may be more than one killer at large."--p.[4] of cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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