Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Book Review - The Book of Liverpool

The Book of Liverpool - a City in Short Fiction 

is, as it says on its cover, a series of short stories. All set in Liverpool, the shorts span events in the city from WW2 to present day, seen through the eyes of the characters.

There's haunted houses and the slums of the pre-war and post-war eras. There's the bombings. The Toxteth Riots. The Hillsborough Disaster. And there's the future, too; the Liver building sets off to sea, like a vast cruise liner, filled with insurance actuaries.

Liverpool has more than its fair share of great writers and some of the very best - Beryl Bainbridge, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Cliver Barker  - have contributed to this selection.

The only complaint (and its really just a small complaint) is that the club scene that birthed the Beatles isn't really touched on in this collection, save for a haunting story by James Friel Something You Don't have to Deserve, except Friel deals with a club in its decay, not in its prime.

It's a great read, especially if you're trying to gain an insight into a complex city in only a few days. The sense of community, of celebration of small things is a hallmark of these stories; really, a hallmark of the city.

Image from Amazon

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