Harry Starks, club owner, racketeer and porn king, is trying to jump the queue into legitimacy. This swinging sixties novel reveals the seedier side of London where the low life met the high life in the city's dark underbelly. The edition ties into the BBC TWO adaptation of the book.
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"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 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 doesn't 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. That's my sort of Gay Liberation. Though, to be honest, I think it was the fat part what got to him. Ron's, 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 Arnott's 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 Brecht's question before the readers' eyes, "It's all about the economy of power." --Vicky Lebeau About the Author:
Jake Arnott has been all the mandatory things required to qualify for authorship. He has been a laborer, mortuary technician, theatrical agent's assistant, artist's model, actor, sign language interpreter, and brain surgeon. He is the author of the British bestsellers He Kills Coppers and The Long Firm, both available from Soho Press. He lives in London, England.
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Descripción Sceptre, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0340752416