The Long Firm Jake Arnott

ISBN: 9781569471692

Published:

Hardcover

343 pages


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The Long Firm  by  Jake Arnott

The Long Firm by Jake Arnott
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 343 pages | ISBN: 9781569471692 | 8.30 Mb

Whats breaking into a bank compared with founding one? Bertolt Brechts provocative question opens Jake Arnotts first novel, The Long Firm, and sets the scene for its memorable exploration of the London underworld in the early 1960s. Five veryMoreWhats breaking into a bank compared with founding one? Bertolt Brechts provocative question opens Jake Arnotts first novel, The Long Firm, and sets the scene for its memorable exploration of the London underworld in the early 1960s. Five very different characters tell their five very different stories about Torture Gang Boss Harry Starks, a man who likes to keep both Bertrand Russell and Physique Pictorial on his coffee table.

His lover and kept boy, Terry, recalls him as a man who liked to break people but also a frightened little child, while according to the Tory lord who frequented his erotic functions, Starks is lower-class tearaway. In the eyes of his various criminal and starlet peers, Mad Harry is a depressive with a diabolical mind, one who likes to stage manage the fear.

The radical young sociologist who teaches him in prison marks him down as a product of working-class subculture, a living critique of capitalism. When, however, he asks Harry what he makes of Gay Liberation, he doesnt quite get the expected response:Well, he said with a gleam in his eye. Someone once called Ronnie Kray a fat poof. Ronnie took the top of his head off with a Luger. Thats my sort of Gay Liberation.

Though, to be honest, I think it was the fat part what got to him. Rons, well, touchy about his weight. 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 Arnotts vision of London low life.

The glamour, and the corruption, of that life drive this story, but Arnott manages to weave cliché into enigma, myth into inquiry, thereby revitalizing our well-worn images of the mad, bad, and dangerous to know. As Starks would put it, keeping Brechts question before the readers eyes, Its all about the economy of power.

--Vicky Lebeau



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