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Titel: The Long Firm.
Verlag: Hodder & Stoughton, London
Einband: Soft cover
Zustand: Very Good
352p, paperback, this is a virtually a new copy without any traces of use. Buchnummer des Verkäufers PAB 54900
London. The 1960s. The capital is swinging, but underneath the boomtown there's a dark underbelly. Meet Harry Starks: club owner, racketeer, porn king, sociology graduate and keen Judy Garland fan. Harry's business is fronting violence with rough charm and cheap glamour; putting the frighteners on, performing menace while trying to desperately trying to jump the counter into legitimacy.
Five narratives chart Harry's rise, fall, and eventual escape. Each one interlocks into an epic testimony where high life meets low life and real and imaginary characters spar with each other as the seedy end of the swinging sixties is revealed in ruthless verisimilitude.
Five characters tell five tales that combine in an extraordinary narrative that is both an explosively paced thriller and brilliantly imagined sociological and topographical portrait of sixties London.
Rezension: "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
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