Three Brothers by Peter Ackroyd is a departure for the acclaimed novelist, as it follows the lives and fortunes of a trio of brothers from a grim council estate in the middle of last century in England.
They were born extraordinarily all on the same day. After their mother inexplicably abandons the family, each boy is forced to make his own way in the world.
Harry, tough and ambitious, climbs high in the cut-throat world of Fleet Street; Daniel retreats into his books becoming a professor; Sam is the dreamer who ends up as the odd-job man for a ruthless landlord. Then there is the cockney thief Sparkle, lover to one brother, friend to another, source of political scandal to another. The London of newspapers, publishing offices, the comfort of Chelsea, the shadowy streets of Limehouse and Hackney, are all presented to us in vivid detail in a gripping tale.
From the bustling cut-throat world of Fleet street, hallowed London publishing offices, and the wealth and comfort of Chelsea, to the smoky shadowy streets of Limehouse and Hackney, this is a trip around the city, down its streets, riding on the tubes, at a very particular moment of history, and unusually for Ackroyd’s fiction, all within living memory.
London is the backdrop and the connecting fabric of these three lives, reinforcing Ackroyd’s grand theme that history and the city both makes and creates us, surrounds and engulfs us.
About the Author
Peter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, Wilkie Collins and Thomas More and of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River. Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature and has written and presented two TV series for the BBC (Dickens and London).
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