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D.J. Taylor At the Chime of a City Clock ISBN 13: 9781849013901

At the Chime of a City Clock - Softcover

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9781849013901: At the Chime of a City Clock
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Summer 1931 in seedy Bayswater and James Ross is on his uppers. An aspiring writer whose stories nobody will buy ('It's the slump'), with a landlady harassing him for unpaid rent and occasional sleepless nights spent in the waiting room at King's Cross Station, he is reduced to selling carpet-cleaning lotion door-to-door. His prospects brighten when he meets the glamorous Suzi ('the red hair and the tight jumper weren't a false card: she really was a looker and no mistake'), but their relationship turns out to be a source of increasing bafflement. Who is her boss, the mysterious Mr Rasmussen - whose face bears a startling resemblance to one of the portraits in "Police News" - and why is he so interested in the abandoned premises above the Cornhill jeweller's shop? Worse, mysterious Mr Haversham from West End Central is starting to take an interest in his affairs. With a brief to keep an eye on Schmiegelow, James finds himself staying incognito at a grand Society weekend at a country house in Sussex, where the truth - about Suzi and her devious employer - comes as an unexpected shock. Set against a backdrop of the 1931 financial crisis and the abandonment of the Gold Standard, acted out in shabby bed-sitters and Lyons tea-shops, "At the Chime of a City Clock" is an authentic slice of Thirties comedy-noir. Praise for "Kept: A Victorian Mystery": 'Very entertaining and well done, with a sharp appreciation for the details' The Times 'An ingenious tale of madness, murder and deception' - "The Guardian". 'A stylish page-turner ...all done with humour and cunning' - "Sunday Telegraph".

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Review:
London’s Bayswater in the summer of 1931 is not the most fashionable of places to live, and the protagonist of DJ Taylor’s strikingly original At the Chime of a City Clock, James Ross, is not comfortable with his lot. He’s a writer, but unfortunately there are no publishers eager to sample his wares. His landlady is breathing down his neck for unpaid rent, and he is forced to try extremely uncongenial occupation to keep body and soul together: pedalling carpet cleaning lotions from door-to-door. His life, however, is about to change -- dramatically -- when he meets the seductive Suzi, and her mysterious boss, Mr Rasmussen.

In the vividness of its seedy setting and the evocation of a particular period in British history, Taylor’s highly entertaining book is more than a little reminiscent of that great chronicler of the less-than-salubrious London of this period, Patrick Hamilton. But as the nicely judged retro cover suggests, At the Chime of a City Clock is about crime and femme fatales. But it’s also about more than that, as readers will discover. The aforementioned Mr Rasmussen may well be a criminal -- and certainly his interest in the disused premises over a jeweller’s shop has sinister implications. When a member of West End Central becomes intrigued by Rasmussen's behaviour, the reluctant James Ross finds himself dragooned into keeping a close watch over Suzi's boss. And things will come to a head -- dramatically -- when James is invited to stay at an upscale country weekend in Sussex, where the revelations will come thick and fast.

DJ Taylor is a distinguished critic and biographer (with both Thackeray and Orwell under his belt), but aficionados of the best fictional writing will be aware of his six novels. This latest one -- which functions as both as an evocation of an earlier period and as a clever modern riff on familiar themes -- is possibly his most accomplished yet. Even if you are not an admirer of Patrick Hamilton, you would do well to pick up this highly intriguing and well-researched mystery. --Barry Forshaw

Review:
Steeped in historical detail, the novel evokes the sleazy side of the Thirties so vividly that you can almost feel the grease and grime on your fingers. (Anthony Gardner Mail on Sunday)

Engaging, cheerful, opportunist James Ross. You won't forget him or the London he frequents for a long time after closing the book. (Susan Hill Literary Review)

Highly entertaining ... his most accomplished [novel] yet ... highly intriguing and well-researched mystery. (Barry Forshaw)

Unique and extremely well read. (The Lady)

Summons the spirit of Patrick Hamilton and George Orwell. (Eastern Daily Press)

Finely drawn...artful...masterly. (John Sutherland)

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  • PublisherCorsair
  • Publication date2011
  • ISBN 10 184901390X
  • ISBN 13 9781849013901
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages256
  • Rating
    3.15 avg rating
    ( 60 ratings by Goodreads )

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781849010245: At the Chime of a City Clock

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ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:  9781849010245
Publisher: Constable, 2010
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9781471312922: At the Chime of a City Clock

Windsor, 2012
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9781471312939: At the Chime of a City Clock

Paragon, 2013
Softcover

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. Summer 1931 in seedy Bayswater and James Ross is on his uppers. An aspiring writer whose stories nobody will buy ('It's the slump'), with a landlady harassing him for unpaid rent and occasional sleepless nights spent in the waiting room at King's Cross Station, he is reduced to selling carpet-cleaning lotion door-to-door. His prospects brighten when he meets the glamorous Suzi ('the red hair and the tight jumper weren't a false card: she really was a looker and no mistake'), but their relationship turns out to be a source of increasing bafflement. Who is her boss, the mysterious Mr Rasmussen - whose face bears a startling resemblance to one of the portraits in Police News - and why he so interested in the abandoned premises above the Cornhill jeweller's shop?Worse, mysterious Mr Haversham from West End Central is starting to take an interest in his affairs. With a brief to keep an eye on Schmiegelow, James finds himself staying incognito at a grand Society weekend at a country house in Sussex, where the truth - about Suzi and her devious employer - comes as an unexpected shock. Set against a backdrop of the 1931 financial crisis and the abandonment of the Gold Standard, acted out in shabby bed-sitters and Lyons tea-shops, At the Chime of a City Clock is an authentic slice of Thirties comedy-noir.Praise for Kept: A Victorian Mystery:'Very entertaining and well done, with a sharp appreciation for the details' The Times'An ingenious tale of madness, murder and deception.' The Guardian'A stylish page-turner . all done with humour and cunning.' Sunday Telegraph A comedy-noir thriller from the author of Kept: A Victorian Mystery. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9781849013901

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Book Description Condition: New. Dieser Artikel ist ein Print on Demand Artikel und wird nach Ihrer Bestellung fuer Sie gedruckt. A comedy-noir thriller from the author of Kept: A Victorian Mystery.&Uumlber den AutorrnrnD. J. Taylor is a writer and critic. His collection of short stories, After Bathing at Baxter s was published in 1997 and he is the a. Seller Inventory # 597099255

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