O! what Man will do fore a Rime!

Self-proclaimed bibliophile, culture nut and nerdfighter. English lit. and linguistics geek. Future career in publishing.

Nineteen Eighty-Three by David Peace

Nineteen Eighty-Three: The Red Riding Quartet, Book Four - David Peace

Note: The review below was taken directly from my Goodreads account.



Nineteen Eighty-Three is also not about the Yorkshire Ripper case, like the first novel in this series, Nineteen Seventy-Four. It instead follows another missing child case, similar to the ones detailed in the first novel. Unlike all of the previous novels, though, this one takes us back to before the events of the first book so that we finally get a complete picture of the entire series.

In 1983, we once again have multiple perspectives. This time it's from Det. Maurice Jobson, the Chief Superintendent of the Yorkshire police force and one of the most corrupt coppers that we've seen to date; John Piggot, some random lawyer who is quite nice sincerely seems to care, which is a nice change; and BJ, the street thug, local guy that we've seen since 1974.

While I appreciated getting the full picture on the events leading up to 1974 and the course of everything that has happened through the series until now, I think Peace's writing has gone down in quality or he might not have as much talent in distinguishing between multiple characters. I thought he did quite well in 1977 between Det. Bob Fraser and Jack Whitehead, but here Peace uses first, second and third person to distinguish between Jobson, Piggot and BJ; his way of doing it might have been his attempt at those different points of view, but it comes across more as lazy writing: Peace doesn't have the writing chops to make each character's voice different and so turns to writing them with different points of view. I don't have any love for second-person, because I think it's trite and sounds terrible, so I wasn't a fan. Peace's tackling of BJ was not any better and made BJ seem like an idiot or some sort of Neanderthal (e.g., "BJ bang on Clare's door," "BJ wait at bus stop for Clare," etc. -- examples not direct quotations from the book), which is not in line with what we've seen him speak thus far in the series. His actual speech is normal, so I don't know what's up with the point of view.

Once again, the book is very film noir-esque and the repetition is still there, although by this time it's getting quite irritating. I ended up skimming over some parts because I could see where it was going. That's never a fun thing to do in a novel.

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