The Long Firm

The Long Firm 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 Londo

  • Title: The Long Firm
  • Author: Jake Arnott
  • ISBN: 9780340748770
  • Page: 391
  • Format: None
  • 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 t 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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      Published :2019-01-04T17:09:27+00:00

    1 thought on “The Long Firm”

    1. A peppy, stylish tour of the London underworld of the 60’s and 70’s, punctuated by sudden bursts of gruesome violence. This is the story of Harry Starks, an East End gangster, a charismatic, feared, and fearless man as told by five very different characters who encounter Harry at different stages of his career. Harry is an interesting man. He’s a brutal thug, but charming and protective. He’s perceptive, a natural born genius at psychology, but he employs these gifts to terrorise his vic [...]

    2. I’m writing a lot about London in the 1960s at the moment, and so to read both London and 1960s set THE LONG FIRM was an absolute treat. A treat which made me turn puce with envious thoughts, but a treat nonetheless. This is really a superb example of how to conjure up a period. Just through little details, catching the era and the idiom and taking the reader on a trip back in time as if we’ve been given our very own Tardis.We have here the story of Harry Starks, London crime boss and contem [...]

    3. La capacidad de este autor para desarrollar cinco puntos de vista completamente diferentes, con cinco estilos narrativos completamente diferentes, es digna de admiración. Sin contar por supuesto al protagonista, mezcla de bestia con genio, que termina generando una sensación ambivalente en el lector. Hiper recomendable.

    4. What a great book this was. Intelligently written without compromising on entertainment, it focuses on a London gangster from the viewpoints of five of his acquaintances. All in all it's an action-packed whirl through the seedier side of the swinging sixties, a world of rent-boys, strippers, bent coppers and seriously dangerous Maltesers. And every fifty pages or so someone gets tied to a chair. My first thought on reading the title was to joke 'the long firm what?', and judging by some of the s [...]

    5. Shocking and gripping; Jake Arnott presents us with a different point of view with every episode, all focussed on the violent gangster Harry Stark.Arnott makes the whole tale more believable through the introduction of historical personalities; with whom the main characters are associated. The atmosphere generated through this and the use of other historical, political, social and geographical periphery, is one that belongs in the 1960's, where most of the book is set. This might not be the deca [...]

    6. A rip-roaring ride through the terrifying gangster world of sixties London and beyond. Set at the time of The Krays, Jack the Hat, Lord Boothby and a parade of high-profile celebrities, and in seedy night clubs, porn shops, swanky flats and scary, deserted lock ups. Harry Starks is the chief racketeer and with a dangerously clever mind, his menace dominates a gripping tale. A real page turner!

    7. I really enjoyed this. It's written creatively, intelligently and with great understanding of humans in general and the social history of 'sixties London in particular. Each of the five parts is told in first person by a different character and between them they tell the story of the gangster Harry Sparks. He's a fascinating character, made all the more interesting because we never get to hear his own internal monologue and so, ultimately, his character and motivation retain some mystery. He is [...]

    8. Arnott, Jake. THE LONG FIRM. (1999). *****. This is one terrific crime novel. It centers around Harry Starks. Harry, a Londoner, is a club owner, a racketeer, porn king, homosexual, sociology graduate from prison studies, and a keen Judy Garland fan. Harry believes that there is a business like showbusiness. It’s the business Harry is in. He wants his club to be a major attraction featuring big stars, but never manages it. He is forced to book secondary talent or talent from the past. His bigg [...]

    9. This an amazing read. Jake Arnott takes the reader deep into the seedy underbelly of 60's London "lairy" blokes getting "aggro" in dark dives Mad Harry, a gangster's gangster ("I'm not gay, I'm homosexual!") with a thing for the soft, young gay-boys out looking for danger, and trying to make a dishonest dollar honest bent coppers dipping their greedy paws in for a share.The Long Firm is a collection of five stories, with intertwining characters and new faces in each "chapter". Each chapter bring [...]

    10. Several different stories interwoven around one main character, and the different interactions with him.The book doesn't shy away from difficult topics, but certainly owes a big nod towards the 60s gangsters like the Krays and Richardsons, many of whom are name checked along the way.It deals with both insiders and outsiders of the criminal life and how their touching upon that world affects them.The era is painted vividly, with lots of little news details to evoke a sense of time and place.You'r [...]

    11. A tough, efficient, well written crime novel set in London during the 60's. Harry Starks is a contemporary of The Krays and runs his own firm with a rod of iron. Arnott paints a complex character, plagued by black moods yet matter-of-fact about his homosexuality. The prose is economical and keeps the story moving along at a good pace. The rise and fall of Starks is told in five episodes, from the point of view of five different people who encounter Harry, either as friend, lover, employee or all [...]

    12. A friend lent me this book she'd picked up from a charity shop along with Arnott's second in the series, He Kills Coppers. The novel gives POV's of several characters who knew the main protagonist,Harry Stark, 60's London gang boss and psychotic leader of The torture gang. It's a great read and particularly resonates if you live in London and recall some of the seedier times and infamous news stories around the Kray twins and Richardson gang. Some of the passages of torture are hard to read but [...]

    13. This was the second book on the list for the "law and literature" weekend, and after Above Suspicion I didn't have high hopes. Fortunately, this turned out to be the much better of the two. Set in 1960s London it tells the tale of a crime boss, but rather than the usual third person or even first person narrative, it changes perspective to a variety of minor characters, who in and of themselves are rather interesting. Not only was Mr. Arnott successful in creating such vibrant and funky characte [...]

    14. I joined GoodReads in large part to get quality recommendations on books. This one, plucked off a fantastic "Best Noir" list, was one of the best I've received. I hate using the "It's like this-popular-movie crossed with this-popular-movie" formula, but this really is like GoodFellas crossed with The Long Good Friday set in London's swinging 60s. A thrilling read from start to finish. Great characters, great dialogue, great settingjust plain great writing. Jake Arnott published this in 1999, I w [...]

    15. I read Jake Arnott's later book, "He Kills Coppers" a few years back and had a hard time getting into it. So, I delayed reading "The Long Firm," to my regret--this is a tour de force of crime writing. Arnott masters the points of view of several different characters, all surrounding an early 1960's crime boss. That the crime boss also is gay adds one of many twists that keep delivering reader interest in this great book. I wish Arnott's later books would have gotten U.S. publication. Highly reco [...]

    16. "The Long Firm" is already a classic British crime novel. It is also a detailed snapshot of 60's London via the eyes of British gangsters. Real people come and go in the narrative and they even have the crazed genius Joe Meek in the story.In one sense, Arnott is the British version o James Ellroy, in that he details the history of a place and a group of people that tells the bigger story which is London.

    17. I enjoyed this book. The story was told from different perspectives but the central character was Harry. Portrayed through the eyes of a lover, a fellow con, a friend and a professor, the story is never boring. Clever dialogue and plot diversity kept me hooked until the end.

    18. I've been a bit ill and really needed a good bit of fiction to see me through, this book fitted the bill perfectly.

    19. Setting: London; 1960s-70s. Gritty and gripping tale set in London's gang culture, featuring gangster, racketeer and club owner (although he would say 'businessman') Harry Starks - a fictional character trying to make money at the time of the Krays and other criminal gangs. The story was brilliantly narrated by a number of different characters who were under Harry's influence at one time or another. Disturbingly violent and shocking at times, the book is the first in 'The Long Firm' trilogy and [...]

    20. There's an almost nightmarish quality to the opening pages of 'The Long Firm', in that you know that something really, really bad is going to happen. Something involving a white hot poker and a man tied to a chair. But you can't look away: you can't stop reading. It's that good, and that powerful - a level of writing which is maintained throughout the book.The book chronicles the career of Harry Starks, a London based criminal and gang boss. Tough, intelligent, homosexual and with a talent for c [...]

    21. Things were swinging in London in the 60s. Harry Starks is a gangster, a club owner who happens to be gay. This story narrates events of his life.As the stroy begins, Harry meets a young man named Terry who narrates this portion of the story. He's won over by Harry's assertiveness and generosity. Soon after meeting, Harry asks Terry to move in with him as his lover.Harry has a reputation as a mobster and has a following. He not only owns his own night club but brings his entoruage to other clubs [...]

    22. I'd heard good things about Jake Arnott's writing from a couple of members of my family, so having been loaned this book I decided to bump it up towards the top of my reading list and see what the fuss was about. In all honesty, despite the low rating and not enjoying the book (see below) I *can* see why many readers would rave about the book and like it a lot more. Many readers, but not me.Stylishly written, this tells the tale of a gangster called Harry, through the viewpoints of five people w [...]

    23. Demorei a terminar-lo por falta de tempo, porque o livro está super bem escrito, a narrativa é boa e dinâmica. Vou ser sincero, encontrei o livro em saldos no Wallmart e disse "olha, um livro de gangsters! deve ser interessante." Não me arrependo.São cinco pontos de vista de cinco personagens com uma coisa em comum: Harry Starks. Gostei que ele está em todas, o que se apresente como oportunidade de negocio ele entra baixo a sua perspectiva de que não é criminoso, é um homem de negocios [...]

    24. 426 páginas y una semana después. sencillamente olvidé actualizar . La historia se divide en cinco partes. El ex amante, un lord disoluto (palabra que no conocía), un delincuente con pocas aspiraciones, una actriz proclive a los excesos y un criminalista. Todos ellos describen la vida del mafioso Harry Stark, alias el loco Harry.Ambientada en Londres de los años 60, sabe a una novela negra común y corriente (qué al final termina siendo). Lo único "diferente" es que Harry es homosexual. F [...]

    25. This is not for the faint of heart. Swearing abounds as does sex (of the non-vanilla kind) I listened to this, rather than read it and the narrator Dave John is to be commended for his command of different accents, not to mention, genders :) Listening to all of it was a bit of a long haul I must confess and I began to despair of living vicariously in the seedy underbelly side of life. But Disc 12 just about made it worth while. I laughed out loud at the conclusion. Very witty really - particular [...]

    26. Harry Starks is a low-rent crime boss in the Britain of the "Swinging 60's". He has something of a code of ethics, can be generous, and is surprisingly intelligent. He is also brutal and - sadly for the story - pretty much a cypher. We get varying looks at Harry and his world in the book's five parts, each told by a different person in a different style: employee Terry, opportunistic and not over bright Lord Thursby, hanger-on "Jack the Hat", actress Ruby Ryder, criminologist Lenny. These five c [...]

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